Melbourne: Former Australian batsman Mark Waugh is hoping that the decision to pick an out-of-form but experienced Ricky Ponting works in the opening Test against India as Usman Khawaja was unlucky to get the axe for one just bad show.
Khawaja scored 7 and 23 in the last Test against New Zealand to take his Test average to 29.22 from six matches and was subsequesntly dropped from the squad for the opening Test against India starting December 26.
"I actually feel a bit sorry for Khawaja because he's actually looked pretty good, apart from last Test," Waugh told Fox Sports.
"Every other innings before that he's looked like a very capable player and I think he's a very good player. Having said that he just hasn't made the scores as yet. He didn't really take the opportunity by the scruff of the neck.
"So I feel sorry for him, but you've got to make the most of your opportunities and he hasn't done that. He's got a great future, there's no doubt about that. He'll be back bigger and better pretty shortly," he said.
Waugh said the selectors' decision to retain Ponting and Hussey came down to their experience.
"(Ponting and Hussey) are both great players. Their records are superb, but they need runs in the next couple of Test matches, that's for sure. Because by their own high standards they've been well short of the mark.
"But they've got experience and they've got quality, they just need to transfer that into runs otherwise they'll be looking over their shoulders as well," he said.
"It's a pretty big series against India and I think the selectors were a bit reluctant to have such an inexperienced side. So they've gone with experience and hopefully it'll pay off," Waugh said.