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Khawaja axed as Smith returns for Old Trafford Test
The Ashes 2019

Khawaja axed as Smith returns for Old Trafford Test

Usman Khawaja has been dropped for the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford as Steve Smith returns back to the side.

Selectors on Tuesday announced a 12-man squad for the Test starting on Wednesday, with David Warner and Marcus Harris set to open the batting.

Khawaja has had a rough time batting at number three, averaging just 20.33 in six innings.

Smith, who was ruled out of the Headingley Test after being struck on the head by Jofra Archer at Lord's, will return to the side to bolster Australia’s batting.

Smith has scored 378 runs at an average of 126 in three innings and batted in a tour match against Derbyshire.

Also Read: 'He hasn't got me out' - Smith shrugs off Archer threat

Justin Langer, while speaking to the reporters in Manchester, said that he was "very clear on the 12, not so sure on the 11", with the decision now coming down to who will be the front-line pacemen.

James Pattinson has been left out of the side, leaving Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle to battle for three spots.

Langer said losing at Headingley was like the ‘Ashes got stolen’ from them but said their preparations for the fourth Test were rock solid.

"We felt like we got the Ashes stolen the other day," he said of England's successful chase of their record 359 target. "To England's great credit, that's what they did -- they won that Test match.

"Now we've got to work out what we're going to do -- we're going to use that as fire, we're not going to feel sorry for ourselves."

Australia squad

David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matt Wade, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood