The Ashes: Khawaja to open in D/N Test, Harris dropped

Double Sydney centurion Usman Khawaja will move up to open the batting for Australia in the final Test beginning in Hobart on Friday, captain Pat Cummins confirmed on Thursday.

Cummins announced Khawaja would replace Marcus Harris as David Warner’s opening partner with Travis Head slotting back in at No.5 for the day-night pink-ball match after sitting out the fourth Test in Sydney with COVID. 

With Head cleared to play, Australia opted to retain Khawaja—who scored 137 and 101 not out in Sydney—and omit Harris, who has struggled to make an impact with a top score of 76 in the series. 

Harris has been given a number of chances over his career, but in 14 matches he has not scored a century and is averaging just over 25. 

Khawaja, 35, has been in and out of the Australian team, but his twin centuries in Sydney made it impossible to drop him for the fifth Test, especially considering his form and experience at the top of the order. He has opened the batting in five Tests, scoring two centuries and averaging 96.80. 

“The message to Harry [Harris] is that he is going really well, it’s just that it’s not too often that someone comes in and scores two centuries in the same game,” Cummins said.

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