Usman Khawaja back in Australia squad for England tour

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Usman Khawaja. File Pic

Srinagar, July 16: After missing on central contracts Cricket Australia have now included batsman Usman Khawaja in Australia squad for the England tour that is scheduled for September.

Khawaja along with all-rounder Marcus Stoinis who was out of team have been named in a preliminary 26-man squad.

Khawaja was Australian top order mainstay in the absence of David Warner and Steve Smith who were serving ball tampering bans. Upon their return coupled with some bad form he lost the confidence with selectors, hence was dropped from central contracts.

Veteran paceman Andrew Tye was also a notable inclusion, having been left out of Western Australia’s state contracts list.

Shaun Marsh and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who both featured in last year’s World Cup squad, were omitted along with Victoria batsman Peter Handscomb.

The squad includes the uncapped trio of Daniel Sams, Riley Meredith and Josh Philippe following their strong performances in Australia’s Big Bash League.

Australia are likely to need to take a bigger squad to England given the logistical difficulties of sending injury replacements due to travel restrictions and border controls to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Australia were initially scheduled to tour England for three one-day internationals and three T20Is this month but the series was postponed due to Covid-19.