Former Australian wicket-keeper Brad Haddin has called for selectors to give Queensland captain Usman Khawaja the nod ahead of Travis Head for the first Ashes Test.

With the series starting on December 9, the fifth batting spot is the only position in the Australian lineup realistically still up for grabs.

Marcus Harris and Alex Carey have been confirmed as the respective replacements for Will Pucovski and Tim Paine, making the battle for the last true batting slot a race down to the wire.

Speaking on Fox Cricket’s Follow-On podcast, Haddin said it was very unlikely in his opinion that Khawaja wouldn't be selected.

“I can’t see them picking Usman Khawaja in the squad and not playing him in the Test,” the former vice-captain said.

“I see no reason why you’d have a 34-year-old in the squad if you are not going to play him. He’s been in good form. I know it’s tough on Travis Head. He will get his time playing for Australia.”

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“I think someone like Khawaja, he’s experienced and pretty chilled with where he’s at as a cricketer and person.

“He’s been leading Queensland to very attractive cricket over the last couple of years and batting at four scoring runs. He has a good understanding with Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. I don’t mind that experience.”

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Khawaja has a stellar Test Match record when opening the batting averaging 96.80 at the top of the Australian order.

In three innings at number 6, the 34-year-old averages just 30 and has never represented his country in the number five position.

Head averages 39.8 at Test level and managed to go at 27.3 in the 2019 Ashes series in the UK.

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