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Australia drop Khawaja for Old Trafford Test as Smith and Starc return to squad

Steve Smith makes the squad after concussion.

Usman Khawaja has been dropped from Australia’s squad (Simon Cooper/PA)
Usman Khawaja has been dropped from Australia’s squad (Simon Cooper/PA)

By PA Sport Staff

Australia have left Usman Khawaja out of their 12-man squad for the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford while there is a recall for paceman Mitchell Starc.

Khawaja, who has batted at number three throughout the series so far, has paid the price for an average of just 20.33 from his six innings in the series.

His place will be taken by Steve Smith, whose expected return from the concussion that sidelined him for the third Test at Headingley has been confirmed.

Marnus Labuschagne will keep his place following three successive half-centuries after replacing Smith midway through the second Test at Lord’s.

Starc’s inclusion was expected after an impressive display in Australia’s tour match against Derbyshire last week – a game in which Khawaja was named captain – taking seven wickets in the match.

The left-arm paceman was the leading wicket-taker at the World Cup earlier this summer but has been overlooked for the first three Tests.

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Mitchell Starc is in contention to return at Old Trafford (Simon Cooper/PA)

His inclusion comes at the expense of James Pattinson, who played in the first and third Tests, with Starc set to fight with Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle for the three pace bowling spots at Old Trafford.

Australia are seeking the win that would see them retain the Ashes, having been denied what appeared a certain victory at Headingley by Ben Stokes’ incredible unbeaten 135.

Australia squad for the fourth Test: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matt Wade, Tim Paine (c, wk), Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

PA

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