TALENTED Queensland batsman Usman Khawaja might not play in either Delhi or Hobart come Friday.
Queensland would love to see him in action in the Sheffield Shield final against Tasmania rather than have him on 12th man duties in the fourth Test against India.
Khawaja has not played a Test in India in the present series - he was set for a recall for the third Test before being left out for disciplinary reasons after failing to fill out an assessment on time.
Given the situation, Bulls officials asked Cricket Australia yesterday if the stylish left-hander could be released should he be surplus to requirements for Delhi.
With vice-captain Shane Watson heading back to rejoin the squad in India yesterday, and the under-fire Phillip Hughes finally scoring some runs to probably earn another opportunity, Khawaja looks likely to stay on the outside looking in when the final Test of the series starts on Friday.
However, Australia does have one major concern before they can give the Bulls a definitive answer one way or the other - back soreness caused captain Michael Clarke to leave the field briefly during Sunday's fourth day in the third Test and he batted down the order.
If Khawaja does get the green light to come home, the Bulls think it would enhance his Ashes case.
"We thought it would be good for him to play five-days of hard cricket against a red ball down in Hobart, so we asked the question," a Queensland spokesman said.
"We'd love to have him in our line-up, but it's CA who have the finally say - we will just have to wait and hear what they say."
Meanwhile, they say that lightning never strikes twice in the same place - try telling Queensland and Australian paceman Ben Cutting that after he was ruled out of the Shield decider for the second consecutive season.
He will have groin surgery later this week, 12 months after a groin injury ruled him out of the victory over Tasmania at the Gabba.
While Cutting will miss out on Queensland's bid to claim the 'triple crown' of Australian domestic cricket, following the Brisbane Heat's T20 Big Bash League triumph, and the Bulls winning the Ryobi Cup, fellow quick Alister McDermott is back in contention after missing last week's win against Western Australia at the WACA with a back injury.
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