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Hussey endorses Khawaja for Test role
Joe Barton
09:50 AEST Thu Jan 31 2013

Recently retired Australia batsman Michael Hussey has endorsed the Test claims of Usman Khawaja, saying the classy left-hander deserves a second chance at an international career.

Khawaja has not been sighted since playing the last of his six Tests in December 2011, but Hussey says the 26-year-old has the composure and temperament to be a long-term success in the international game.

Khawaja averaged 29.22 during his brief stint in the Test side, regularly making starts but failing to convert them into big scores - creating pressure on him which ultimately led to his axing.

But Hussey says Khawaja's development this season and the attitude he showed when included as a shadow player while captain Michael Clarke battled a hamstring injury had convinced him the youngster was well-prepared to tackle Test cricket again.

"Given an opportunity, and an extended run at it, I think he'd do a great job," Hussey, who pointed out there were another four or five viable options, said.

"I think he's got a great temperament for Test match cricket. If he was given the opportunity I hope they give him a good run at it.

"... international cricket in general, there's a lot of pressure and a lot of tension and a lot of distractions out there.

"You need to somehow be able to not let those distractions get into your mind.

"And I think he's quite an unflappable sort of character.

"He's very focused on his cricket and I think he's got a good technique and a good temperament to handle all those external pressures and distractions that are involved in international cricket."

Hussey, meanwhile, laughed off outspoken Test great Shane Warne's suggestion that he take over the role of Australia's batting coach.

Warne outlined his 'dream team' of who he would employ to fix Australian cricket, describing Hussey as a respected player with a grasp on all forms of the game.

But Hussey said it was a fanciful idea, given he retired less than a month ago primarily to spend more time with his young family.

"I'd say that's probably a 'no' at this stage," Hussey said with a smile.

"The boys are going to be away for eight-and-a-half months of the next year.

"It's not something I really want. That was the reason I retired.

"If I was to be around the Australian team, I'd prefer to be playing."


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