Khawaja tips Warner to ‘keep flying’

Usman Khawaja isn’t convinced David Warner will retire from Test cricket after next year’s Ashes, despite his opening partner hinting otherwise.

Warner, 36, this week told Triple M’s Deadset Legends: “Potentially it could be my last 12 months in Test cricket. But I love the white-ball game – it’s amazing.

“Test cricket will probably be the first one to fall off … because that’s how it will pan out.”

However, Khawaja was unsure “how serious” Warner was.

“I’ve known him for a long time and I think, much like myself, he’ll keep flying as long as he’s enjoying it,” the 35-year-old Queensland captain said.

“He’s fit, he’s well, and he’s obviously got a goal. All of us are quite keen to get over there (to England) and play the World Test Championship if we can make it and then straight after that there’s an Ashes coming up.

“A lot of the players are in similar boats.

“After that, who knows? I can’t really speak on his behalf, but I’m sure there’s plenty of cricket left for him, just like there is for me.”

If Warner does retire from Test cricket next year. Khawaja’s Bulls teammate, Matthew Renshaw, is making a strong case to be his replacement at the top of Australia’s order.

The 26-year-old left-hander played the most recent of his 11 Tests in 2018 before reinventing himself as a middle-order batsman in recent years.

However, this season Renshaw has been restored into an opener for Queensland, with the highlight being an unbeaten 200 against NSW at Drummoyne Oval last month.

“He’s playing beautifully right now,” Khawaja said of Renshaw.

“I don’t want to put too much (pressure) on him. As long as he keeps doing it consistently, that’s a big thing.

“That (opening the batting) is probably where his best spot is, and possibly ultimately having a chance to play the next level up there.

“We obviously have big raps on Renshaw. He’s doing really well now, and it’s up to him to keep doing what he can do because we know what a quality player he is.”

Khawaja and Renshaw played together on Wednesday in the Queensland PGA pro-am at Nudgee, where their group included US-based Australian professional golfer Greg Chalmers.

“I really enjoy it because a lot of sportsmen, we feel the same things, emotions, we go through the same ups and downs, and I love golf,” Khawaja said.

“Anytime I meet a professional golfer, it’s always fun.”

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