• Paine hints at Handscomb recall

    Captain Tim Paine has suggested batsman Usman Khawaja will be pushed up the order, and the inexperienced Peter Handscomb recalled for Australia’s fourth and final Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

    Handscomb was dropped for the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but struck a superb half-century for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League in the interim.

    Khawaja traditionally bats third, but has opened on five occasions, including once against South Africa at Kingsmead in Durban last year.

    ‘Usman’s opening record in Test cricket is very good. He’s been on record a few times saying he’s not too fussed where he bats,’ said Paine.

    ‘If that’s the way we go, Usman will go out and give his all, as he always does. I think the way he’s handled the last month or so has been exemplary, it’s a real credit to him.

    ‘If we think India were to play two spinners, Peter could be a really important player for us.

    ‘We know how good a player of spin he is. That’s one of the discussions we’ll be having today, if we think India will go that way, and if they are, are we prepared to bring him back in.

    ‘I’m sure if he does play, he’s an excellent player of spin and contributes a lot to the group in the field and around the team.’

    All-rounder Mitchell Marsh and opener Aaron Finch will reportedly be dropped – and the South African-born Marnus Labuschagne recalled, too.

    Photo: Getty

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