Usman Khawaja admits off-field problems were affecting his performances after he made an emphatic return to form on day three of Australia's second Test against Sri Lanka.

The top-order batsman made 101 not out in Australia's second innings total of 196-3 declared, with Sri Lanka still trailing by 499 runs at the close of play.

It was Khawaja's first three-figure score since a magnificent 141 against Pakistan last October, with a knee injury before the recent India series hampering his rhythm and he only went beyond fifty once in the four-match contest.

Away from the pitch, Khawaja's brother Arsalan was arrested and charged over allegations he framed a co-worker in a fake terrorism plot.

And Khawaja, who made a duck in the first innings in Canberra, opened up on his struggle.

"Being around, getting lots of starts during the summer was tough, I've had a tough summer, I've had a lot of stuff going on off the field, which has made things a lot tougher," he said.

"It's just been really nice to have my wife Rachel with me for the majority of the tours and she's been awesome, just to have her around and to go and travel with me, she's been my rock throughout the whole thing. 

"It's been tough, it's something you don't expect to happen. My family's very close to me and I'm very close to my family, so at some level I think it made it tougher to go out and concentrate and execute my skills.

"At the same time while I was playing cricket you sort of forget about everything because you're only concentrating on cricket.

"But it was very taxing, it has been very taxing mentally, and that's why Rachel has been great, being around and trying to take my mind off things. [I'm] Feeling a lot better now than I was probably a month or two ago, but it's been a tough couple of months off the field."

Sri Lanka, already trailing 1-0 in the two-Test series, need to bat out two days to salvage a result.

Their cause was not helped by Kusal Perera retiring hurt on 29 in their first-innings total of 215 – in which Mitchell Starc took 5-54 – after being struck on the helmet by a Jhye Richardson bouncer.

Dimuth Karunaratne, who himself had retired hurt after taking a short ball from Starc on the neck on day two, returned having received clearance from Sri Lanka medical staff.

Fast-bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake, who expects Kusal to bat in the fourth innings, said it was strange to see several incidents in one match, with Kusal having already been struck by Richardson and Dhananjaya de Silva taking a ball to the helmet from a Pat Cummins delivery.

"When it hits the head it's certainly a huge concern for us but this match was a lot on the head, wasn't it?" He said. 

"I mean I've seen bowlers hit batsmen on fast tracks also and certainly if there isn't much pace the ducking process becomes different and the inconsistencies of a pitch – I'm not saying this pitch is inconsistent at all – it's just sometimes you tend to duck for a ball that you shouldn't be ducking. 

"And that we saw in Kusal's thing, he ducked into a ball which was not as ferocious as the ball to Karunaratne."

Mitchell Starc and Usman Khawaja found form as Australia closed in on victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test in Canberra on Sunday.

Starc (5-54) and Khawaja (101 not out) starred for the hosts, who enjoyed a dominant third day at Manuka Oval.

With the help of Starc, Australia bowled Sri Lanka out for 215 – earning a 319-run first-innings lead – before reaching 196-3 and declaring, setting the tourists 516 for victory.

Bad light saw play stopped as Sri Lanka's openers survived, getting to 17-0 and needing another 499 runs to win.

Sri Lanka resumed at 123-3 and Starc quickly ripped through the lower order to give Australia complete control of the Test.

It was short-pitched bowling that caused the tourists trouble early, with Kusal Perera (29) retiring hurt after being hit in the head by Jhye Richardson (0-49).

Perera was replaced by Dimuth Karunaratne, who had been taken to hospital after being hit by a bouncer on Saturday.

A short delivery led to the departure of Dhananjaya de Silva, who hit his wicket after attempting to pull a ball from Starc on 25.

Dimuth Karunaratne (59) chased a wide one from Starc and was caught by Kurtis Patterson before Nathan Lyon (2-70) removed Chamika Karunaratne for a duck.

The tail fell quickly as Starc grabbed the final two wickets for his 10th Test five-for and first since March 2018.

There were again some top-order worries for Australia, who slumped to 37-3 as Marcus Harris (14), Joe Burns (9) and Marnus Labuschagne (4) departed.

But Khawaja played a fine innings after a slow start and was joined by Travis Head (59 not out) for an unbroken 159-run partnership.

Under some pressure and having dropped a simple catch earlier in the day, Khawaja delivered a much-needed century – his first since October and eighth in Tests.

Tim Paine waited for Khawaja to reach the milestone before declaring, setting Sri Lanka 516 for victory.

Australia were unable to find the breakthrough they wanted in six overs before play was ended early due to bad light with Dimuth Karunaratne (8) and Lahiru Thirimanne (8) unbeaten.

India marched towards a big victory over Australia before rain washed out play to offer the hosts some relief on day three of the fourth and final Test in Sydney.

Australia battled to 236-6 – in response to India's 622-7 declared – when the match was halted due to bad light and wet weather just before 4:30pm local time at the SCG on Saturday.

The third day was eventually abandoned shortly afterwards, with the beleaguered Australians still 386 runs behind as Peter Handscomb (28 not out) and Pat Cummins (25no) tried to put up a fight.

It was another day of dominance from India, who are seeking their first Test series victory in Australia having already retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

With their backs against the wall, Australia – resuming on 24-0 – made an encouraging start to the morning but that glimmer of hope took a hit when the top order crumbled in a collapse of 24-3.

Usman Khawaja (27) was the first to go when he misjudged a Kuldeep Yadav (3-71) delivery and was caught by Cheteshwar Pujara.

Australia attempted to remain positive, digging deep against pace and spin as they reached 122-1 at lunch, with Marcus Harris a shining light courtesy of his 77.

Harris, however, was unable to build on his promising innings after a moment of indecision saw the opener chop on to his own stumps off Ravindra Jadeja (2-62) for 79.

India struck again through Jadeja, who claimed his second wicket when Shaun Marsh (8) pushed at the ball and was caught at slips, and Australia were quickly reduced to 152-4 as debutant Marnus Labuschagne (38) fell victim to Mohammed Shami (1-54).

Travis Head added 20 and looked set before chipping a full toss back to Yadav as he threw his wicket away in the penultimate over of the second session.

Captain Tim Paine's (5) stay at the crease was brief as Australia's hopes of avoiding the follow-on rested on under-pressure batsman Handscomb and Cummins.

Peter Siddle is back from the one-day international wilderness after Australia overhauled their squad for the upcoming ODI series against India.

Veteran paceman Siddle has not played an ODI since 2010 but the 34-year-old has been included in the 14-man team for the three-match series, starting in Sydney on January 12.

Batsman Usman Khawaja – who last played an ODI for Australia in January 2017 – has also been recalled, along with star spinner Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh and Peter Handscomb following Australia's revamp.

Travis Head, Chris Lynn, D'Arcy Short, Ben McDermott and Ashton Agar have been dumped following the 2-1 series loss to South Africa last year as Australia look ahead to the Cricket World Cup in England.

Captain Aaron Finch, Alex Carey, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa are the only survivors from that side after Nathan Coulter-Nile succumbed to a back problem, while selectors opted to rest Test trio Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

"After a disappointing period in ODI cricket, the National Selection Panel along with team coaches have reviewed our performances across this format and we've identified a number of key areas that we feel we need to improve in order to help put this team in the best possible position to turn this period around," National selector Trevor Hohns said.

"With this in mind and the World Cup looming, we've selected players we feel provide us with the flexibility to play a variety of roles at different stages of a match."

Hohns continued: "It's wonderful to have Peter back in the squad for the first time since 2010. His white ball cricket has improved considerably the older he has got, and his selection is great reward for his professionalism and strong leadership qualities."

"Usman is a batsman we know can put vital runs on the board at the top of the order, and Peter [Handscomb] is not only a fine player of spin bowling, he's also a batsman we know can hold an innings together while keeping the scoreboard ticking over. Mitch gives us another all-round option with his ability with both bat and ball," he continued.

"Travis Head, D'Arcy Short and Chris Lynn have been unlucky to miss out. All three have had opportunities to cement their spots, but unfortunately, they have not been as productive as we would have liked in recent times when playing ODI cricket for Australia."


Australia squad: Aaron Finch (captain), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa.

Usman Khawaja's brother has lost his bail after he was arrested and charged for allegedly attempting to influence a witness in a counter-terrorism trial.

Arsalan Khawaja – the older brother of Australia batsman Usman –  was re-arrested in New South Wales on Thursday for breach of bail and influence witness in judicial proceedings.

The 39-year-old was originally charged with one count of attempting to pervert justice and one count of forgery – making a false document – on December 4 after allegedly trying to frame a colleague at the University of New South Wales with a fake terror plot.

"A man has been charged after allegedly attempting to influence a witness in a NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team [JCTT] investigation," a statement from NSW Police – sent to Omnisport – read.

"Investigators from the JCTT – comprising officers from the Australian Federal Police, NSW Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the NSW Crime Commission – arrested the 39-year-old man at a home at Westmead about 1.15pm on Thursday 27 December 2018.

"The man was taken to Parramatta Police Station and charged with breach of bail and influence witness in judicial proceedings. He was refused bail to appear at Parramatta Bail Court on Friday 28 December 2018."

Usman Khawaja is in Melbourne, where Australia are facing defeat to India in the third Test at the MCG.

Usman Khawaja is unconcerned about his disappointing start to Australia's Test series against India.

After a stunning 141 to salvage a draw against Pakistan in Dubai was followed by knee surgery in October, Khawaja has scored just 41 runs across three innings versus India.

The batsman, who has only found the boundary once from 205 balls faced during the series, has been relied upon to shoulder a greater share of responsibility at the top of the order with David Warner and Steve Smith suspended.

Despite a difficult start against the top-ranked Test side, Khawaja is remaining upbeat about his chances of making an impact.

"Cricket is a funny game, it goes in circles," Khawaja told a post-match news conference.

"I've scored a lot of runs this year. A lot of runs in first-class cricket over in Glamorgan, then [for] 'Aussie A', and then in the UAE. 

"There's going to be a couple of innings here and there where I don't, and that's just part of the game. Nothing changes a lot. Credit to the bowlers when they bowl well to you. 

"If you're not scoring runs you don't have to reinvent the wheel. You just go out there next time and get some more runs.

"It could be a lot worse. I could get three first-ballers."

Australia were all out for 326 in the first session on Saturday and had India in trouble at 8-2 in reply, but unbeaten fifties from Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane got the tourists to stumps in a strong position at 172-3.

Khawaja hopes his team can make an early breakthrough on day three and put some pressure on what appears to be a long India tail.

"If we get a couple of wickets early [on Sunday] and break this partnership right now - it's not an easy wicket to start off on," said Khawaja.

"If we do that we'll have our chance at that tail, but we still have to be quite disciplined."

Cheteshwar Pujara claimed his first century on Australian soil to rescue India from a top-order collapse and leave honours even on day one of the opening Test.

Usman Khawaja said his incredible catch to dismiss Virat Kohli just "stuck" as Australia dominated India early on day one of the first Test.

Australia batsman Usman Khawaja has asked for privacy after his older brother was arrested in New South Wales on Tuesday.

Arsalan Khawaja was arrested in relation to "documents allegedly found on University of NSW grounds in August this year containing plans that purported to facilitate terrorism attacks," NSW Police confirmed.

The 39-year-old has been charged with one count of attempting to pervert justice and one count of forgery – making a false document.

As Australia prepare for Thursday's opening Test against India in Adelaide, Usman Khawaja fronted the media to address the situation.

"I won't say much. It's a matter for the police to deal with it," the 31-year-old star told reporters. "Out of respect for the process, it would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment.

"I just ask for you to please respect my privacy and my family's privacy at this time."

Earlier on Tuesday, NSW Police released a statement which read: "A man arrested in Sydney’s west this morning as part of an ongoing NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team investigation has now been charged.

"Officers from Operation Moorsel arrested the 39-year-old Westmead man in Burnett Street, Parramatta, at 8.30am.

"The arrest relates to documents allegedly found on University of NSW grounds in August this year containing plans that purported to facilitate terrorism attacks.

"The man was taken to Parramatta Police Area Command where he was spoken in to regarding the alleged offences of attempt to pervert justice, and forgery – making a false document.

"He has been charged with one count of attempting to pervert justice [Criminal Crimes act 1914 – Cth] and one count of forgery – making a false document [NSW Crimes Act].

"The man has been refused bail and is due to appear in Parramatta Local Court today [Tuesday 4 December 2018]."

Usman Khawaja has revealed Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James served as his inspiration for his marked fitness improvement.

Mohammad Abbas ripped through Pakistan to claim his first 10-wicket Test haul as Australia crumbled to a crushing 373-run defeat and a series loss in Abu Dhabi on day four.

Usman Khawaja is a doubt for Australia's home series with India after suffering a meniscal tear ahead of play on day three of the second Test with Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

Usman Khawaja is a doubt for Australia's home series with India after suffering a meniscal tear ahead of play on day three of the second Test with Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

Australia face an anxious wait to discover the extent of a left knee injury which prevented Usman Khawaja from playing any part in the third day of the second Test against Pakistan. 

Usman Khawaja feels his heroic hundred for Australia in the first Test against Pakistan was rich reward for the hard work he has put in during his career. 

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