Despite Usman Khawaja failing to find a spot in the 12-man squad for the fourth Ashes Test match, Australia skipper Tim Paine said that the 32-year-old is a 'key player' in their team and is expected to bounce back strongly.
"Usman's obviously a key player in our side batting at No.3 and he hasn't scored the runs he or we would like. With Steve Smith coming back it was a tough decision to make on Usman but we think he's still got a lot of cricket left in him," Cricket.com.au quoted Paine as saying.
"He's had a very good Test record over his career and we expect that he will bounce back pretty strongly," he added.
Steve Smith was ruled out of the third Ashes Test match due to concussion and Marnus Labuschagne played the match in Smith's place. Labuschagne performed brilliantly and earned his spot in the 12-man squad.
Therefore, the selectors had to make tough decisions for the upcoming Ashes Test match. However, Paine said that they want their selectors to make 'hard decisions'.
"It's a good thing for us that we've got a player of Usman's quality on the sidelines. It means we're getting our team to where we want to be and we want our selectors making hard decisions," Paine said.
The fourth Ashes Test match between Australia and England will commence from September 4.
( With inputs from ANI )