Tim Paine has no doubt Usman Khawaja will recover from a poor run of form that has seen the batsman dropped from Australia's squad for the fourth Ashes Test.

Khawaja has scored a combined 122 runs across six innings so far this series, averaging just over 20 with a high score of 40.

Leading run scorer Steve Smith was absent for Australia at Headingley, as Ben Stokes inspired England to a remarkable one-wicket victory, but the visitors' talisman will return at Old Trafford, with Khawaja the player to drop out.

Marnus Labuschagne seems set to move up to three, with Smith coming in at four, but Paine insists Khawaja – who captained Australia in a tour match at Derby last week – has not been dropped for good.

"Usman is obviously a key player in our side batting at three and he hasn't scored the runs," Paine told a news conference.

"With Steve coming back, it was a tough decision to make on Usman. We think he's still got a lot of cricket left in him, he's got a good Test record over his career and we expect he'll bounce back pretty strongly."

When asked how long Khawaja's place had been under threat, Paine replied: "I'm not sure, I'm not a selector. I give my opinion. It was only spoke about, as far as I'm aware of, this week.

"Usman hasn't scored the runs he would like or we would like, so unfortunately for him Steve missed the last Test and when a player that good comes back someone has to make way.

"It's a good thing for us we've got a player of Usman's quality on the sidelines. It means we're getting our team to where we want to be."

While Khawaja will not feature at Old Trafford, Mitchell Starc could be in line to make his return to Australia's bowling attack, having been selected in the 12-man squad.

"He's in the 12, so he's close," Paine said. "We'll have another check of the wicket today, it looks pretty dry, it's got a bit of pace in it.

"Starc bowled superbly last week at Derby, he's got his length right and we’re really pleased at what he did down there.

"He's a great option for us, we think this wicket might suit him. If we make that call we're sure he'll do a great job."

Paine's captaincy has come under scrutiny following the defeat in Leeds, while England paceman Jofra Archer said he believed Australia became complacent in the third Test.

"Jofra's entitled to his opinion, he's had plenty of those before," Paine responded. "We made mistakes, it happens, we've addressed it as a team, spoke about it honestly.

"I was certainly one of those people that made mistakes. It happens in cricket, we're here, we've moved on and ready for this Test match."

Usman Khawaja has been dropped by Australia for the fourth Ashes Test against England, while James Pattinson also misses out in Manchester.

Khawaja has struggled for form to begin the series and was left out of a squad of 12 named on Monday.

The left-hander made 122 runs at an average of 20.33 during the first three Tests, with Australia and England locked at 1-1 in the series.

With Steve Smith returning from concussion, the in-form Marnus Labuschagne appears set to bat at number three when the Test begins at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Pattinson has also been left out after taking five wickets at 33.40 in two appearances.

It leaves Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood competing for three spots in the pace attack.

Starc is yet to play during the Ashes series but took match figures of 7-85 during a tour match against Derbyshire ahead of the fourth Test.

Australia: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matt Wade, Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

Usman Khawaja insisted England's miraculous triumph in the third Test at Headingley has only fuelled Australia's desire to retain the Ashes.

Ben Stokes' inspired display kept the five-Test series alive as hosts England amassed their highest ever fourth-innings run chase in Leeds, where the hosts prevailed by one wicket last week.

Australia, however, will be able to welcome talisman Steve Smith back to the fold for the Old Trafford Test after the star batsman missed the Headingley clash due to a concussion sustained at Lord's.

Smith will play a three-day tour match against Derbyshire, with Khawaja captaining an Australia side which also includes Marcus Harris, Cameron Bancroft and Marnus Labuschagne.

Khawaja acknowledged Australia's defeat was a tough blow to take, but he has no doubt the tourists will bounce back before the end of the series, with one win from the two remaining Tests enough to retain the urn.

"Disappointing for us but hopefully it'll make the next game or the game after even more sweet when we do win," Khawaja said. "It was an excellent innings [from Stokes]. The way it ended, the drama, you couldn't write a script like that. It was heartbreaking for us as a team.

"It was a good game if you look at it from the eyes of a fan, what an amazing game.  I hope it's not too much of an epic [series]. The last game was clearly epic for England fans, and there have been great Ashes rivalries and games. 

"We played beautifully in the last game, we were so close to winning the Ashes, and if a few things go our way at the end then we would have done.

"We've played some really good cricket and we're confident we'll get that win."

With the fourth Test not starting until September 4, there is a 10-day gap between the matches, though Khawaja does not believe it will have been easier for Australia if the break was a shorter one. 

"It doesn't make much difference. We already had two Tests back-to-back so it was pretty tough," Khawaja said.

"It's nice to get a bit of a break, refresh and go for the next two. Test cricket's always hard work, always tough competition. There's a lot of depth with Australia's squad, and they all deserve to play which is a good thing."

Australia have named a much-changed team for their tour match against Derbyshire as they begin preparations for the fourth Ashes Test.

The tourists were beaten in a draining third match at Headingley as Ben Stokes produced one of Test cricket's greatest innings to secure a one-wicket England win.

From that side, unsurprisingly, there are a number of changes against Derbyshire for the fixture starting on Thursday, with Steve Smith recalled following his absence with concussion.

"I'm feeling pretty good," he said. "I faced some bowlers in the nets the other day. It's a bit of a slow process, you've got to tick off a few different boxes.

"I'm going well and will play the Derby game. Get through that and I'm pretty confident I'll be right for the fourth Test match."

Smith is joined in the side by Alex Carey, who will take the gloves in captain Tim Paine's absence, and Mitchell Starc, who will look to force his way into the bowling attack.

Carey, who played at the Cricket World Cup, had been in county action with Sussex but has been called in to join the Australia group.

Cameron Bancroft and Peter Siddle return, while Mitchell Marsh and Michael Neser come in, with seven changes made in all.

Usman Khawaja is named captain of the side against Derbyshire, while Marnus Labuschagne, Smith's concussion replacement, remains.

David Warner, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon, who was heavily involved in the closing stages of England dramatic series-levelling win, are among those rested.

 

Australia XI to play Derbyshire: Usman Khawaja, Cameron Bancroft, Alex Carey, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, Matthew Wade.

Ben Stokes' remarkable heroics at Headingley mean the Ashes series is all square at 1-1 with two to play.

But beyond what can reasonably be considered among the greatest Test innings of all time in one of the most remarkable finales in the history of cricket's longest format, there is plenty for England and Australia to consider.

The flaws of both teams have contributed to the undulating drama of this series every bit as much as individual brilliance on each side.

Before they reconvene at Old Trafford next week, here are some selection quandaries England and Australia must ponder.

ENGLAND

Roy's race is run

While Stokes has transferred his golden Cricket World Cup form to the Test format, the punt on white-ball specialist Jason Roy bringing his talents to bear at the top of the England order has failed to come off.

A best of 28 has been followed by four consecutive failures to reach double figures, with muddled footwork and a lost off stump making it seem cruel to ask Roy to keep on facing the new ball. Dropping into the middle order, with Joe Denly promoted to open, is one option, though a spell out of the side feels kinder right now.

Should England want to bring in a new face alongside Rory Burns, Warwickshire's Dominic Sibley is the leading option thanks to three centuries and four fifties in the County Championship this season.

Buttler best left out?

Over the course of three Tests, Jos Buttler has edged down from five to seven in the England order. A gutsy second-innings 31 at Lord's is his only effort to recommend among a string of single-figure scores, even if he could do little about being run out by Headingley hero Stokes.

Surrey's Ollie Pope thumped an unbeaten double century against Hampshire earlier this month and looks ripe for a recall to the middle order in place of either Roy or Buttler.

Bowling at the James Anderson End… James Anderson?

Chris Woakes has become increasingly peripheral with the ball and Australia have nullified his all-round capabilities with short-pitched assaults. The identity of England's third seamer looks likely to change at Old Trafford.

James Anderson would love to feature at his home ground but must do more to prove his fitness in an outing with Lancashire's second XI this week.

Sam Curran would provide left-arm variety and accomplished batting from number eight in the order, yet may once again miss out on selection.

 

AUSTRALIA

Smith in for who?

Steve Smith could return from his concussion-enforced absence and the tourists are not short of candidates to make way.

Usman Khawaja is without a half-century in the series and his airy 23 during the second innings at Headingley stood as a jarring counterpoint to Marnus Labuschagne's application.

Travis Head and Matthew Wade might also need to help their cause in this week's tour match at Derbyshire.

Starc in for who?

Mitchell Starc has been a spectator so far but could be drafted into the XI to bowl on an Old Trafford surface well-suited to his talents.

The left-arm paceman's relative inability to bowl "dry" means he is an uneasy fit with Australia's overall gameplan, but his expertise against the tail would have been a huge asset in Leeds.

Taking out any seamer involved in rolling England for a first-innings 67 would be harsh, but James Pattinson would appear the most vulnerable.

Marsh an option to bolster attack

For the first time in the series, Australia's four-man attack looked tired as they wilted in the Headingley heat.

The lack of top-six batsmen emphatically stating their case could open the door to Mitchell Marsh. The all-rounder hit two centuries in the last Ashes series in Australia and his right-arm seam would ease the load on a supreme but now-wounded bowling unit.

Australia coach Justin Langer has challenged his batsmen to stand up and be counted with the Ashes on the line.

Ben Stokes' stunning 135 not out snatched a scarcely believable one-wicket win for England at a raucous Headingley on Sunday to level the five-match series at 1-1.

Although the spectacle of Stokes bludgeoning a flagging Australian attack into the stands will live long in the memory, Langer's post-match attention was focused on a batting line up that failed to pass 250 twice in the match to leave the door ajar.

"One thing I do know is we're not batting well enough at the moment," Langer told reporters.

"I said at the start of the series that the team that bats best will win the Ashes. We're certainly not at our best with our batting at the moment.

"We've got some real questions to ask for the practice game and then the fourth Test match."

The practice game in question comes at Derbyshire this week, ahead of the fourth Test at Old Trafford that begins on September 4.

Steve Smith is set to return following his concussion-enforced absence in Leeds, while Marnus Labuschagne has impressed with three consecutive half-centuries after stepping in to replace Australia's former captain.

Elsewhere, there is little else to recommend, with number three Usman Khawaja failing to pass 50 in six attempts so far.

"There's a number of guys who will be looking to play well, not just Uzzy [Khawaja]," Langer said.

"Uzzy averages 40 in Test match cricket, he got a Test hundred seven innings ago. We know he's a very good player and he, like the rest of them, will be working hard to be ready for the fourth Test.

Another obvious area of improvement for Australia is their use of the Decision Review System, which was brought into sharp focus by Stokes' dramatic reprieve with the finish line in sight.

Replays showed Nathan Lyon's rejected lbw appeal would have hit middle and leg, although captain Tim Paine's rash decision to send a Pat Cummins shout against last man Jack Leach upstairs in the previous over meant Australia had no reviews left.

"We've been really poor at it this whole series, actually. We've talked a lot about getting better at our reviews," Langer said.

"There wasn't so many this game as there was at Lord's but we have control of that. We've got the way we go about it but sometimes you don't quite get it right.

"To be fair, the one off Pat Cummins at the end, we were getting pretty desperate at the end. That's just how it works out."

Langer added: "We're all feeling it. My gosh, you have no idea how much that hurts. But whether you're the captain, the coach or the senior players you've got to get back up."

England's bid to level the Ashes at Headingley was hampered by rain and bad light at Headingley as Australia's batsmen faced just 18 overs in the first two sessions of the third Test.

The hosts, 1-0 down in the five-match series, had inserted their opponents under gloomy skies after winning the toss in Leeds, yet play was delayed for 80 minutes due to showers, and only four overs were possible before the inclement weather returned.

During that time, however, Jofra Archer made the early breakthrough by drawing the edge of the recalled Marcus Harris (8), whose opening partner David Warner lived a charmed life, particularly against the impressive Stuart Broad.

Play resumed again at 14:00 local time (13:00 GMT) and Broad eventually got his reward, Usman Khawaja (8) given out following England's review when his bat brushed the ball en route to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow's gloves.

The players were forced off once more due to further rain and only 3.1 overs had been bowled when proceedings were halted again, this time due to bad light.

Warner, who was unbeaten on 26 having been out for single figures in each of his previous four innings in the series, appeared only too happy to depart, though England's players were less impressed as he and Marnus Labuschagne (7 not out) walked off while the umpires checked the light.

The latest interruption meant tea was taken at 16:10 on a frustrating opening day.

England removed Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja cheaply in Australia's innings, but the first day of the third Ashes Test continued to be interrupted by showers at Headingley.

Both the toss - which England won - and the start of play were delayed by bad weather and the first ball was finally delivered 80 minutes after the scheduled start time.

Only four overs were possible before the rain returned, by which time Jofra Archer had dismissed recalled opener Harris, who edged behind on eight.

Play resumed at 14:00 local time (13:00 GMT) and Stuart Broad soon had Australia two down when a delivery down the leg side brushed the bat of Khawaja (8) before reaching wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.

Broad and Bairstow were both convinced of the edge and though umpire Chris Gaffaney was unmoved, England's review showed a clear nick to leave Australia 25-2.

Another 14 had been added by the time the latest round of rain arrived and, despite some initial hesitancy on the part of Joe Root and his team to leave the field, play was once again halted with David Warner (18 not out) and Marnus Labuschagne - yet to get off the mark - having seen Australia to 39-2.

Jofra Archer claimed his first Test wicket.as England struck three times in the morning session of what was forecast to be a rain-hit third day against Australia at Lord's.

The tourists dominated Thursday's play in the second Ashes Test as they targeted a 2-0 series lead, bowling England out for only 258 and closing on 30-1.

With wet weather expected for the rest of Friday, Joe Root's home side needed to do damage before lunch and duly reduced Australia to 80-4 at the interval.

Debutant Archer removed Cameron Bancroft before Chris Woakes saw off Usman Khawaja (38) and Travis Head fell to Stuart Broad, but England were unable to claim the prized scalp of Steve Smith (13 not), who scored a century in both innings in Australia's win at Edgbaston.

Left-hander Khawaja brought up the team's 50 with a streaky boundary when Woakes was brought into the attack after Archer and Broad struggled early on.

Root persisted with World Cup star Archer and the quick got a much-needed breakthrough with a delivery which struck Bancroft in front after nipping in sharply off the seam, umpire's call the verdict after the opener signalled for a review.

Woakes got in on the act with the second ball of the next over, Khawaja nibbling behind to an excellent delivery which moved away from the left-hander.

Australia were 60-3 after losing two wickets without scoring a run and they were four down when Broad snared Travis Head (7) lbw, England successfully reviewing when Aleem Dar curiously opted not to raise his finger.

Ben Stokes caused an otherwise untroubled Smith problems and Matthew Wade overturned an lbw decision when on nought, after being given out from a ball from the England all-rounder which pitched outside leg stump.

Wade, full of confidence after scoring a hundred in the first Test, was still there along with Smith when lunch was called with rain falling and a strong prospect there may not be any further play on Friday.

Usman Khawaja will bat at three for Australia against England at Edgbaston while James Pattinson is also likely to be included in the team for the first Ashes Test, coach Justin Langer has confirmed.

Khawaja has not played since suffering a hamstring injury against South Africa in the Cricket World Cup group stage on July 6 and he missed the intra-squad warm-up game last week in Southampton.

However, Langer said the 32-year-old has since proven his fitness and will feature against England when the first Test begins on Thursday.

"Usman Khawaja will definitely be in," Langer told reporters.

"He's fit, ready to go, he's playing well.

"He's a seasoned pro for us, he averages 40-odd in Test cricket, his hammy is good, he's running well, he's passed all the fitness tests so he's ready to go. He'll bat number three."

The attack Langer will pick at Edgbaston is more difficult to predict, though the coach did reveal Pattinson is set to be one of his bowlers.

Pattinson has not played a Test since February 2016 but impressed for Australia A earlier this month and then starred again in the intra-squad contest - when he took 3-19 in 13 overs in the second innings.

"It's a great story isn't it, coming back from where he was as a young bowler, the back surgeries, to more than likely being selected for this Test match, it's a great story," Langer added.

David Warner is a certainty to open the batting, though there was concern about his fitness at training on Monday after he required treatment having edged a ball from Michael Neser into his thigh.

However, Langer allayed any fears over Warner's injury, adding: "Davey's fine, I think he got one in the inside of the leg.

"I haven't been over there since training, hopefully he'll be fine. I haven't heard anything different."

Australia trained at Edgbaston on Monday where there was a reminder about the ODI team's last visit to the ground.

England beat Langer's team in the World Cup semi-final earlier this month and the scoreboard at the ground displayed the figures from the successful run chase, something which former Australia seamer Jason Gillespie called an "interesting decision".

Australia captain Tim Paine was delighted with Cameron Bancroft's performance in an inter-squad Ashes warm-up match on Thursday.

Bancroft scored an unbeaten 93 at the Rose Bowl as the Graeme Hick XII beat the Brad Haddin XII by five wickets.

The opening batsman, who along with Steve Smith and David Warner was suspended following last year's ball-tampering scandal, has not played a Test since March 2018.

Bancroft's knock will have enhanced his chances of making Australia's Ashes squad, which will be announced on Friday, with the first Test of the five-match series beginning on August 1.

And Paine believes Bancroft's form is a huge boost to Australia, who are set to include Smith and Warner in their Test squad for the first time since the incident in South Africa.

"I thought Bangers played unbelievably well - to get [nearly] 100 on that wicket, it's an unbelievable effort," Paine told reporters.

"I think it shows Bangers' toughness. Guys were getting stuck at the crease a lot and that can play on their minds.

"I think it just shows the mental toughness and application he's got to keep on taking ones in the body. The guys think he's got a bit of a screw loose but it seems to make him that bit better. He was superb in that second innings.

"Everyone's excited to have two of our loved team-mates back in, and Bangers makes it three. It also adds to our knowledge of the English conditions, he's played a lot of cricket over here now.

"[Smith and Warner] are some of the best players in the world so we're thrilled from a cricket aspect and thrilled from a team aspect to have those guys back in around our group."

Usman Khawaja missed Australia's Cricket World Cup semi-final defeat to England due to a hamstring injury, but Paine revealed the opener should be fit to feature in the first Test at Edgbaston.

"I think he's 100 per cent. He was running in between the wickets today, not at full intensity," Paine added. 

"Usman has been playing a lot of cricket, he's been over here months now with the World Cup squad so it's not like he hasn't been playing.

"It wasn't ideal that he didn't play in this game but I think he's going to be fully fit and available."

Matthew Wade's place in Australia's Cricket World Cup squad as Usman Khawaja's replacement has been confirmed ahead of the semi-final with England at Edgbaston.

Khawaja's tournament was ended by a hamstring strain sustained in the final group game against South Africa and the defending champions had applied to the ICC for Wade to be brought in as his replacement.

The formalities for Wade's inclusion were completed on Wednesday, a day before the Aussies meet hosts England in the second semi-final.

Coach Justin Langer has already confirmed Peter Handscomb will replace Khawaja in his XI for the clash with England.

Wade, 31, has been in fine form having scored two centuries for Australia A in England last month.

He has not played an ODI in two years but reports suggest he could also come straight into the team at Edgbaston, possibly at the expense of all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.

Usman Khawaja has been ruled out of Australia's Cricket World Cup semi-final showdown with hosts England on Thursday.

Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis had scans after suffering respective hamstring and side injuries in the defeat to South Africa at Old Trafford.

Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh were called up as cover from the A squad earlier on Sunday ahead of their four-day match with Sussex.

Australia coach Justin Langer is uncertain on Stoinis' chances of facing England at Edgbaston but says Khawaja's World Cup is at an end, with Wade to replace him in the squad once the necessary paperwork is completed.

"It's such a pity for [Khawaja], for someone who's been so integral to how we've been playing," he said. "Like Shaun [Marsh, who broke his arm on Thursday] I feel that sad for him that he's going to miss the World Cup semi-final.

"Matthew Wade is coming up, he's in great form, he's had a great 12 or 18 months back home but he also just scored two hundreds [for Australia A] so he's in great nick.

"Mitch Marsh is going to come on standby for Marcus Stoinis just to see how he comes up… If they have to come in they'll be ready to step up."

Australia have drafted in Matthew Wade and Mitch Marsh as cover as they wait to learn the full extent of injuries to Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis ahead of the Cricket World Cup semi-finals.

Khawaja sustained a hamstring injury in Australia's defeat to South Africa in Manchester on Saturday and his chances of playing against England at Edgbaston on Thursday appear slim.

Captain Aaron Finch was slightly more optimistic Stoinis' side problem was not as severe when addressing the injuries at a post-match news conference.

But Australia are leaving nothing to chance, with wicketkeeper-batsman Wade and all-rounder Marsh brought across from their A team, who begin a four-day match with Sussex on Sunday.

Marsh was also brought into the fold earlier in the tournament when Stoinis sustained a side strain against India, but he recovered to face Bangladesh.

Khawaja and Stoinis are set to undergo scans on their injuries on Sunday.

Usman Khawaja's Cricket World Cup may well be over after he suffered an apparent hamstring injury in Australia's defeat to South Africa.

Khawaja retired hurt before being forced to return in the 10-run reverse to the Proteas on Saturday, scoring 18 before diverting the ball onto the top of his stumps.

Captain Aaron Finch was pessimistic about Khawaja's condition in the post-match presentation, with a scan set for Sunday.

"It doesn't look ideal for Usman Khawaja at the moment," he said. "We'll have to wait and see.

"He's going to have a scan in the morning and we'll make a call based on what the results are there."

Marcus Stoinis also looked to be struggling, although Finch was slightly more positive on that front, but Australia at least have their A team on hand should either player need to be replaced.

"I'm not sure [on Stoinis]," Finch said. "At the moment, it feels okay. But until you get the definitive scans, it's tough to know.

"The whole Australia A squad is here, the four-day guys and the one-day guys. So if they need to be replaced, which I imagine Usman will, there's plenty of guys to come in."

The loss to South Africa saw Australia slip below India, winners against Sri Lanka, into second to set up a crunch semi-final with rivals and hosts England.

Finch added: "It doesn't get much bigger than that: England v Australia in a World Cup semi-final. Hopefully it's a great game."

Meanwhile, Proteas captain Faf du Plessis was left rueing his side's failure to produce such impressive performances earlier in the tournament.

Du Plessis himself scored 100 against Australia, but South Africa have long been out of contention after a dismal start to the group phase.

"After the tournament is when we start scratching our heads and try to figure it out," he said of his side's issues. "It's inconsistent cricket.

"To be in the semi-finals, especially now with this new four-team format, you have to be at your best for most of the tournament.

"If you're not, you need guys to lift the team and win games almost on their own. We weren't at our best as a team and we had guys not doing enough to get us over the line."

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