Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja looks on during a practice session at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on July 24, 2016. Australia plays three Tests against the Sri Lanka, with the first starting in Pallekele on July 26. LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images

Queensland skipper Usman Khawaja has earned a return back into the Australian XI for the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney.

While Khawaja's addition arose after Travis Head was forced into isolation after contracting Covid, the 35-year-old's form at Sheffield Shield level has seen him worthy of selection off his own bat.

Prior to the domestic competition's break in proceedings, Khawaja had produced 460-runs for the Bulls across eight innings at a healthy average of 65.71.

The Pink Test will provide the Pakistan-born batter a chance to make his first appearance back in the Baggy Green since Australia's disastrous loss to England at Headingly during the 2019 Ashes series.

Embed from Getty Images

While Head's forced absence provided a singular change Justin Langer's batting line-up, the bowling attack that tore England to shreds in Melbourne will remain unchanged, giving instant hero Scott Boland an opportunity to replicate his blistering debut.

With the set-up of Starc, Cummins, Bowland and Lyon will work from both ends of the SCG, Test hopeful Mitchell Swepson will be forced to wait until a later date to debut.

Despite the likelihood that this will come during Australia's upcoming tour of Pakistan, wet conditions and an unfriendly surface were likely to have been the deciding factors between him spinning and serving drinks.

Embed from Getty Images

Line and length operator Josh Hazlewood will also be required to sit out a third straight red-ball contest, however, it remains likely that the New South Welshman will have recovered from a side strain in time for the final Test in Hobart.

With clear skies and a top of 26 predicted for the Harbour City on Tuesday, there remains a hope that the dead rubber will commence as scheduled.

But with thunderstorms predicted for each of the five days of play, the likelihood of a decisive result is diminishing by the minute.

Australian XI
Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland.