Uzzy giving timely reminder with BBL masterclass
Sydney Thunder skipper Callum Ferguson reckons Usman Khawaja is getting better with age and still has a future at international level.
Khawaja has been overlooked for all of Australia's internationals this summer, having played the last of his 44 Test matches in the famous "Ben Stokes" Ashes Test at Headingley and the last of his 40 one-day internationals in a World Cup defeat to South Africa at Old Trafford.
Fellow Queenslanders Joe Burns and Marnus Labuschagne have kept Khawaja out of Australia's top three at Test level while Ashton Turner and D'Arcy Short were preferred for this month's three-match ODI tour of India.
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Having recently turned 33, many feel Khawaja's days are finished in national colours but Ferguson disagrees.
"Without a doubt," Ferguson said when asked whether Khawaja can again play for Australia.
"I believe he's still good enough to be playing at the top level and I believe he's getting better as he's going.
"He's such a level head and that's something we're trying to teach our (Thunder) younger players.
"I'd love to see him back in the Australian line-up in whichever format it is.
"We're certainly hopeful we can help him get there."
Khawaja's smooth 63 combined with Ferguson's blistering 73 helped the Thunder to 5-168 on New Year's Eve which proved just enough with the Adelaide Strikers replying with 8-165, thanks chiefly to a savage late cameo from Rashid Khan (40).
The Thunder muscled their way past the Strikers to the top of the table with the victory.
"It's been nice to consistently contribute," said Ferguson who leads the BBL run-scoring leaderboard with 229 runs at 57.25.
"Glad we came out the right side of this one.
"Our guys really deserved this."