Cape Town - Australia batsman Usman Khawaja's blessing is also his
curse, in that his talent allows him to bat anywhere in the top order, says
coach Darren Lehmann.
Khawaja was dropped from the Test XI during the Tests
against Sri Lanka recently, but is set to return to the side thanks to an
injury to his replacement, Shaun Marsh.
But Khawaja may not get to bat in his preferred role as
opener, says Lehmann, and the Queensland batsman could find himself as low down
as six against South Africa.
Lehmann said on Wednesday: "I think you can look at him
as a one, two or three. It depends on the make-up of the side.
"At the end of the day the captain will decide where
the batting order lies and we’ll just give him the side we think is the best
prepared and the best team to win that particular game.
"Usman is one of those guys can bat one, two, three or
four, five or six… so that’s an advantage with him so really depends on how the
other players shape up with the Shield round."
For his part, Khawaja is trying to focus on his domestic
form after being told to impress in the Shield and Matador Cup, and will think
about Perth if required.
He said: "I haven’t really chatted to them (selectors)
at all about it (selection). I’m just trying to play stuff for Queensland.
"We’ve got (Matador Cup) finals coming up first. That’s
a pretty big thing going on there.
"Not looking too far ahead yet but I am planning
everything as it’s going as if I’m playing that first Test.
"And if I don’t I’ll reassess then."