Sydney, Dec.20: In form New South Wales batsman Usman Khawaja has said that he is ready for a Test call up should skipper Ricky Ponting find himself unable to play in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. Ponting has fractured his little finger on his left hand during the Perth Test.
Khawaja looms as the man most likely to fill in for the 151-Test veteran. The 24-year-old New South Wales left-hander was part of the touring squad for the mid-year fixtures against Pakistan in England and received a late call-up to be stand-by for vice-captain Michael Clarke before the Ashes opener in Brisbane.
And after smacking an unbeaten 78 on the third day of NSW's Sheffield Shield match against Queensland at Blacktown Olympic Park in Sydney''s west, Khawaja said he was ready to stand up if the call came to rush down to Melbourne.
"I''ve said this before, I think I was ready when I was six years old," Khawaja told reporters on Monday. "I think everyone's ready to play for Australia."
Khawaja has scored an impressive 598 runs at 74.75 in the Sheffield Shield this season to top the run-scorers tally for the summer. He also cracked his maiden domestic one-day century last weekend in the Blues' thrilling three-run victory over South Australia.
But the Pakistan-born player said he wasn't sitting by his phone waiting for a call from Australia selectors to pack his bags for Melbourne. "You can''t look that far ahead, the (Australian) boys had a great win over in Perth so I'm just happy with these NSW boys right now," he said.
If he plays for Australia in the Boxing Day Test, he will become the first Muslim cricketer to represent Australia.