Khawaja might open with Warner
Photo Source: AAP
Usman Khawaja is happy to open the batting in the first cricket Test and Australia coach Darren Lehmann has no doubt the batsman could handle the responsibility if recalled.
Chairman of selectors Rod Marsh will reveal Australia's Test squad next Friday ahead of their three-Test series opener against South Africa, which starts in Perth the following Thursday.
Khawaja is fully expected to be called up after he was dropped during the tour of Sri Lanka in August.
The left-hander has batted at first drop in the majority of his 29 Test innings, including a purple patch last summer that featured tons at the Gabba, WACA and MCG.
But Khawaja could potentially be promoted to open alongside David Warner if selectors overlook Joe Burns and Shaun Marsh is unavailable because of a hamstring injury.
"You can look at him as a one, two or three," Lehmann said of Khawaja, who has opened for Australia at ODI and Twenty20 level.
"It depends on the make up of the side.
"The captain will decide where the batting order lies and we'll just give him the side.
"Usman is one of those guys can bat one, two, three or four, five or six ... so that's an advantage with him.
"It really depends on how the other players shape up with the (Sheffield) Shield round."
Khawaja suggested it wouldn't impact his approach if he was asked to open against the Proteas.
"No, not at all," the 29-year-old said.
Khawaja is yet to speak with Rod Marsh regarding where he sits in selectors' plans, insisting he is only focused on captaining Queensland in Sunday's one-day cup final.
"I am planning everything as it's going as if I'm playing that first Test," Khawaja said.
"And if I don't I'll reassess then."
Khawaja hasn't had much time in the middle since he was dumped after the second Test of a 3-0 series loss in Sri Lanka.
Khawaja was on drinks duty during Australia's recent one-day tour of South Africa, with the exception of an unbeaten 82 he scored against Ireland.
"I felt like I was seeing the ball well all throughout South Africa and still feel like I'm seeing the ball well," he said.
"Even in Sri Lanka where I didn't score a lot of runs, I didn't feel horrible.
"There's no reason why I shouldn't score runs every time I go out to bat, but you can't get too far ahead of yourself."