Khawaja’s stunning recovery gives hopes

USMAN Khawaja hopes to prove his fitness for next month’s first Test against India by playing a Sheffield Shield match for Queensland.

Khawaja, 31, says he’s ahead of schedule in his recovery from a left knee injury suffered three weeks ago in Australia’s second Test loss to Pakistan in the UAE.

The Australian batsman went under the knife on October 23 but is believed to be already eyeing Queensland’s Shield clash with Victoria from November 27 as his return.

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“In an ideal world I would like to play a Shield game before then (the first Test),” Khawaja said.

“We will wait and see but if things keep going the same way it should be good.”

Khawaja’s recovery may be on track but the classy left-hander is still hurting after taking little part in Australia’s heavy second Test loss to Pakistan in the UAE.

He injured his knee in a second Test training mishap and took no further part in the game as Australia slumped to a 373-run defeat.

It left a bitter taste for Khawaja, who hit an inspirational 141 in Australia’s stirring first Test draw.

“It was disappointing, that second Test. You always feel like you let your teammates down when you get injured and we did lose that second match,” Khawaja said.

“For me it was rewarding that first match that we got out of it with a draw but obviously I would have liked to have played that second match and won that game.”

Khawaja has not only targeted the four-Test series against India starting in Adelaide on December 6 but also the 2019 World Cup.

Khawaja said he was disappointed to be sidelined for the one-day series against South Africa and miss a chance to impress selectors before the World Cup in England.

“Targeting that World Cup is a big thing. It’s one of my major goals,” Khawaja said.

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