Usman Khawaja, Australia vs Sri Lanka Test cricket at the Gabba

Australia coach Justin Langer says he and Usman Khawaja realise the star batsman is out of form and needs a “great hundred” in the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.

The 32-year-old left-hander has a top score of 72 for Australia this summer across Tests and ODIs. He’s failed to make a century and only has two scores higher than 34 in seven matches against India.

He hasn’t reached triple figures since his 141 in Dubai in October.

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“I had a good hit with him yesterday … he admitted he’s been frustrated,” Langer told SEN radio on Tuesday.

“He’s had some good starts against the white ball and Test cricket (but hasn’t converted them).”

Khawaja injured his knee during that tour of the UAE but returned for the four-Test series at home.

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Langer says the talented top-order bat hasn’t looked 100 per cent since then.

“I can’t help but think, we didn’t rush him back, but he had that knee injury after the UAE and he’s just finding his feet again,” Langer said.

“He seems fine, he’s in the best physical condition of his life, he’s training hard and playing well.

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“We’ve just come off a series against India who has a fantastic fast bowling attack as well.

“We need him to stand up, he knows that. He’s our most senior batsman.

“He’s playing well … he just needs, and we need, him to turn some of those starts into great hundreds for us.”

The first Test against Sri Lanka kicks off at the Gabba on Thursday afternoon.

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Originally published as ‘He needs to stand up’: Langer looking for ‘great hundreds’ from Khawaja

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