Canberra:Batsman Usman Khawaja has vowed to fight his way back into the Australian Test set-up, declaring that he's still worthy of inclusion in the top six.
Khawaja hasn't appeared for Australia in the longest format since the Leeds Test against England in the Ashes. The southpaw also hasn't played for the national side in the 50-over version of the game after the conclusion of the World Cup last year.
His latest blow came last week, when he was left off the list of 20 men's players handed national contracts by Cricket Australia, a message from selectors that he was a long way back in their plans for the coming year.
The 33-year-old, who debuted in the 2011 New Year's Test against England, has played 44 Tests and 40 ODIs, and insisted he still has plenty to offer at the highest level.
"Age is just a number and if you're performing, you're performing; it's not like I'm 37 or 38 and coming into right at the end of my career," Khawaja told Fox Sports.
"Without sounding arrogant, I still feel like I'm one of the top six batsmen in the country," he added.
Khawaja has had his problems against spin bowling, especially in the sub-continent. However, he showed his class and quality with a superlative 141 against Pakistan in Dubai in 2018.
''My playing against spin has been right up there as some of the best in the country. Bar maybe Steve Smith, who is an absolute genius. But, the most important thing is to score runs," Khawaja said.
At present, Australia are the number one Test team and there is tough competition for places. This isn't an unfamiliar territory for Khawaja though.
"I've been through it all, I've seen a lot of different coaches, and I've been in and out of the team a lot, especially in my younger years," Khawaja had confessed to cricket.com.au in 2018.(UNI)