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Australia pair Khawaja and Pattinson set to face England in Ashes opener

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NEWS
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219   //    30 Jul 2019, 14:22 IST

Australia batsman Usman Khawaja
Australia batsman Usman Khawaja

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."

JUST IN: The make-up of Australia's first #Ashes Test XI is taking shape with Usman Khawaja and James Pattinson both set to play at Edgbaston - https://t.co/JJxOHOQ8ss pic.twitter.com/9dF8tfvLb4
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) July 30, 2019

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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".

Interesting decision by Edgbaston to keep this scoreboard up for the Aussie team for training today.....#ashes2019 pic.twitter.com/AyL2Jcmmqs
— Jason Gillespie (@dizzy259) July 29, 2019

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