Melbourne - Usman Khawaja has boosted his
chances of a recall to the Australia side for this week's second Test against
the West Indies with a blazing century in a Big Bash League Twenty20 match.
The Pakistan-born Khawaja, 29, smashed 109
off 70 balls in Sydney Thunder's one-run win over the Melbourne Stars at the
Melbourne Cricket Ground late Sunday, where he hopes to resume Test duties
later this week.
Khawaja has been sidelined with a hamstring
injury after scoring 174 and 121 in the first two Tests against New Zealand
But he looks set to return against the West
Indies for the Boxing Day Test, proving both his form and fitness.
Khawaja looked in fine touch, striking
firmly off the back and front foot with 12 boundaries and three sixes.
"He hasn't missed a beat, he's timed
it beautifully from the word go," Thunder skipper and former Test star
Mike Hussey said.
During Khawaja's absence from the Test
side, his replacement Shaun Marsh made a strong case for his retention with his
highest Test score of 182 during the first Test against the Windies in Hobart.
Test coach Darren Lehmann has raised the
prospect of either Khawaja or Marsh playing as an opener in Melbourne, possibly
at the expense of Joe Burns.