Usman Khawaja
Usman Khawaja AAP

Khawaja's bid to reclaim Test spot

USMAN Khawaja's bid to re-claim the Test spot he lost last summer starts with a new state and on a new home pitch next Monday.

The 25-year-old former New South Wales and Australian batsman will make his Sheffield Shield debut for Queensland in the season-opener against South Australia at the Gabba.

Khawaja, along with former NSW team-mate and returning Queensland player Nathan Hauritz, have both been named in the team for the clash with the Redbacks.

All up there are four changes to the Bulls team which defeated Tasmania in last summer's Shield final.

Steve Magoffin has moved to England while Chris Lynn, Alex Kemp and Aussie quick Ryan Harris are the others to miss out. Harris was not considered as he continues to return to recover following his shoulder surgery.

The players to come into the championship line-up are Khawaja and Hauritz, batsman Peter Forrest, who missed the final due to international duties, and fast bowler Ben Cutting who was ruled out with injury on the eve of the decider.

The Pakistan-born Khawaja has played six Tests since his making his debut against England last year scoring 263 runs at an average of 29.22.

He arrived in Brisbane at weekend following a successful stint with Derbyshire in England where he played a leading role in helping them win promotion to the first division of the County Championship.

The left-hander said he was looking forward to batting regularly on a ground he has fond memories of - his scored his maiden first-class century there.

"I came to Queensland because I felt like I needed a fresh start and I wanted to win. I felt it gave me the chance to enjoy my cricket and if I can put my hand up and contribute to the team, then that is a good result," he said.

As for a earning a Test recall, Khawaja said he needed to get some runs on the board first.

"You have got to score runs if you are a batsman, so if you do that, then the rest takes care of itself."


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