Lehmann Feels Khawaja Is Expected To Return In Sheffield Shield > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Lehmann feels Khawaja should return to Sheffield Shield

Khawaja is yet to hit a fifty since his 72 against India in Perth

Former Australia coach Daren Lehmann reckons the out of form Usman Khawaja should give the India and Pakistan ODIs a miss and play in the Sheffield Shield in order to find himself in the groove for the Ashes later this year.

Khawaja was out for a third-ball duck during Australia's first innings in Canberra, chasing a wide, full delivery and edging to second slip. The dismissal extended his poor run of form, which has seen him notch up just the lone fifty in the 11 innings since his match-saving effort at Dubai. Against a heavily weakened Sri Lankan attack, against which Australia finally managed to break their summer's century drought, Khawaja heaped more misery on himself with a bad shot. And it did not escape censure.

"The way he got out, was very unlike Usman Khawaja, it was a lazy shot. He's not like that, he's a better player than that," Lehmann told Macquarie Sports Radio. "He's just looking a bit flat when he plays. He's not as sharp early on as he was say in Perth, when he got his highest score of the summer. He got the 70, looked sharp and ready to score. He's a better player than he has shown, we know."

Since the Perth innings, however, Khawaja has a highest of 33 in six innings, and Lehmann believes it is time to cut short Khawaja's ODI chances to help him find his rhythm in the longer format.

"If I'm fair dinkum about batting him three in the Ashes, I don't think you can take him to the one day series against India and Pakistan. I think he's got to play the four Shield games at the back end with the Dukes ball and get some form, and it's one for the selectors to mull over."

Lehmann also suggested that Khawaja's family issues - his brother was arrested in December - could also be playing on his mind.

"The family issues certainly would've affected him, there's no doubt about that. When you've got issues going on with your loved ones, cricket takes second string. We're only playing a game," he summed up.

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