Cricket: Usman Khawaja takes swipe at Australia's selection policy

Australia cricket player Usman Khawaja says chopping and changing created instability in the team.
Australia cricket player Usman Khawaja says chopping and changing created instability in the team.PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Usman Khawaja has taken a swipe at Australian selectors after being dropped for Tests this year in India and Bangladesh, saying chopping and changing created instability in the team.

The 30-year-old batsman passed 50 in six consecutive Tests during the 2016-17 home summer, but was largely overlooked for the Asian tours, ostensibly because of his past form on the subcontinent. Khawaja is widely expected to be restored at No. 3 for the upcoming Ashes series with England, but is disappointed at selectors changing the line-up.

"They never used to do it before, I'm not really sure why they do it now," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation late on Monday (Oct 16).

"It creates a lot of instability in the team I reckon, going in and out for everyone.

"You hear things like 'the players are playing afraid' or whatnot, but that's what happens when you drop players all the time. We've been doing that a fair bit lately."

In the India Tests, Steve Smith came in at No. 3 ahead of Shaun Marsh at No. 4.

Khawaja played one Test in Bangladesh but scored just two runs in the match and was then dropped.

He said that in his role as captain of Queensland, he tried to stick with his players as long as possible so they could find their rhythm and improve.

"It is very hard to develop your game and play some consistent cricket if you're not getting consistent opportunities overseas, which I haven't been getting," he said.

"It's frustrating but I've just got to focus on what's in front of me. I'd love to win an Ashes series - I haven't done that yet."

The opening Test against England is on Khawaja's home ground, the Gabba, starting from Nov 23.