Australia included Usman Khawaja in their squad for the fourth Ashes Test against England as a back-up for Captain Ricky Ponting, in case the skipper fails to recover from a fractured finger.
The injury picked up in the 267-run third Test win at Perth isn't too serious and Ponting is expected to shake it off, but the Australian selectors are leaving nothing to chance.
Australia's chairman of selectors, Andrew Hilditch said, We are confident Ricky will be available. Through an abundance of caution we have named Khawaja on standby.
Khawaja was born in Pakistan and moved to Australia as a young boy. He is uncapped as yet, but has been in terrific form so far this season, leading the runs chart in the Sheffield Shield with 598. The left handed batsmen insisted that he is ready if he is called upon for the first team.
I've said this before, I think I was ready when I was six years old, he said. I think everyone's ready to play for Australia.
Though he is ready, he also said he is not expecting to get called up for action. The boys had a great win in Perth and I am just happy to be doing the job for NSW (New South Wales). The fact the team is doing well makes me think about (selection) even less because they are never going to change a winning side.
However, Khawaja didn't have a good time against England when he played for Australia A in the warm-up match for the series in Hobart. He could score only 13 runs in the first innings and was bowled first ball in the second in an English 10-wicket victory.
With the win in the third Test at Perth, Australia leveled the five match series at 1-1. The fourth and crucial test starts on Boxing Day at MCG, Melbourne.
Australia Squad: Shane Watson, Phillip Hughes, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Michael Beer, Ben Hilfenhaus, Usman Khawaja.