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Cricket-Khawaja gets Australian test call-up

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-06-21 16:10:50

MELBOURNE: Uncapped New South Wales batsman Usman Khawaja was named on Tuesday in Australia`s 14-man squad on Tuesday for next month`s two-test series against Pakistan in Britain.

The 23-year-old Khawaja, who was born in Pakistan but moved to Australia as a youngster, was named in the side due to a shoulder injury sustained by opening batsman Phillip Hughes, selection panel chairman Andrew Hilditch said.
"Usman Khawaja has been selected on the back of some very strong (domestic first class) performances," Hilditch said in a statement.

"He is seen ... as being capable of batting anywhere in the order in test cricket, but importantly for this particular series a top-order batsman who could bat in the top four should the opportunity arise."

Fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus also returned to the side after he missed the tour of New Zealand in March with knee tendonitis.

"Ben was a critical member of our 2009 Ashes bowling group and it is very pleasing to see him back in the test squad with the next ... Ashes series just around the corner," Hilditch said.

Left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin were also both named for the two-test series that begins on July 13 at Lord`s after they were ruled out of a limited over series against England in Britain with elbow injuries.

Australia are due to play England later on Tuesday.

Johnson had made good progress and would travel to Britain later this week and could be available for the Twenty20 games against Pakistan on July 5 and 6, though Haddin is being given more time to prove his fitness, Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said.

Squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke, Doug Bollinger, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Usman Khawaja, Marcus North, Steven Smith, Shane Watson.

BDST: 1254hrs, June 22, 2010

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