Australia coach Langer: Up to four Ashes spots up for grabs

There are still several selection decisions to make for the first Ashes Test, according to Justin Langer.

Justin Langer: "I think there are a couple of bowling positions up for grabs, probably a couple of batting positions." Photo: Getty Images

Justin Langer says up to four places in the Australia Test side are up for grabs but the encounter between teams run by Graeme Hick and Brad Haddin will not be a "shoot-out" for Ashes selection.

Test captain Tim Paine will lead a Hick XII against a Haddin-coached line-up skippered by Travis Head in a four-day contest at the Rose Bowl, which starts on Tuesday.

Australia commences its battle with England at Edgbaston on August 1 and head coach Langer is still some way from finalising selection for the series opener. "I think there are a couple of bowling positions up for grabs, probably a couple of batting positions," Langer said.

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"There will be a lot of discussion about whether we have an extra spinner, a lot of discussion about whether we have an extra wicketkeeper. It won't necessarily be a straight shoot-out [in Southampton], but there will certainly be good opportunities for guys."

'Race against time'

Langer is hopeful Usman Khawaja will recover from a hamstring injury to be fit to face Joe Root's side in Birmingham, but the tourists will take no risks with the batsman.

"It was a bit of a race against time for this game," Langer said of Khawaja's availability for the warm-up fixture.

"He was really close … but with his style of hamstring you just want to make sure it’s right because you don't want him to be pushing it too soon and have it affecting him the rest of the series.

"We’ll wait and see what happens with this game, and then we'll have to wait and see what happens with the first Test match. Fingers crossed he'll be okay."