West Indies batsman Chris Gayle believes his Sydney Thunder teammate Usman Khawaja can re-establish himself in the Australian Test team just like Michael Clarke, who was dropped in 2005 only to return later and become one of the world's best batsmen.
With the looming retirement of Michael Hussey leaving a sizable gap in Australia's middle order, Khawaja has been thrust back into the spotlight as a proposed replacement, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The 26-year-old left-hander is in fine touch, scoring the third most runs (438) in the Sheffield Shield this summer while also peeling off a crisp, unbeaten 66 in the Thunder's four-wicket loss to the Sydney Sixers in their Big Bash League Twenty20 game on Sunday night.
Khawaja played just six Tests before being abruptly dumped for failing to light the top order after averaging 29.22, with a top score of 65 in a brief stint peppered with scores in the 20s.
However, Khawaja's Thunder teammate Gayle anticipates a bright future for him. Gayle said Khawaja has a bright future ahead and if given a chance he has all the qualities in him to be a future Test star for Australia.
Khawaja is on standby for Clarke (hamstring) for the third Test against Sri Lanka at the SCG starting on Thursday, which will be Hussey's last.