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Outperform Smith or Warner: Langer tells Khawaja how to earn his spot back
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Outperform Smith or Warner: Langer tells Khawaja how to earn his spot back

Australia coach Justin Langer has told Usman Khawaja he faces a stiff challenge to make a comeback to Australia's white-ball set-up as he will have to oust either Steve Smith or David Warner to ensure his return.

Khawaja, who was a member of Australia's World Cup squad last year, has been left out of the line-up named for the England tour last week.

With limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch an automatic selection in the side, Khawaja will have to compete against Warner, Smith and emerging star Marnus Labuschagne to earn a spot in the team.

"The way we are going to set up our game plan at the moment is Uzzie is competing with David Warner, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith at the top of the order," Langer told reporters.

"And at the moment our view is that those guys are getting the nod ahead of him... and that's why he missed out.

"Marnus is a bit different, he's batting number four. But he got a hundred in his last game and has had an incredible 12 months."

Khawaja was Australia's senior batsman in the top-order when Warner and Smith were serving year-long bans for their involvement in the ball-tampering fiasco at Cape Town in 2018.

The Queensland skipper was adjudged joint player of the tournament in the domestic Marsh One-Day Cup last year but he has been unable to get a 50-over game for Australia since the World Cup.

The other notable omission for Australia was all-rounder D'Arcy Short as Langer admitted Glenn Maxwell deserved a place in the team ahead of the 30-year-old.

"Maxwell has taken D'Arcy's spot mainly because we feel more confident getting overs out of Maxwell at the moment than we do out of Shorty in the middle overs," he said.

"But it just goes to show what depth we've got when we're leaving Usman, D'Arcy and guys like Travis Head at home."

Australia will clash with England across three T20Is and three ODIs next month at bio-secure venues with the last match of the tour scheduled on September 16.