Cricket: Khawaja to play in Wellington

By Andrew Alderson in Wellington

Usman Khawaja of Australia looks on from the sheds. Photo / Getty
Usman Khawaja of Australia looks on from the sheds. Photo / Getty

Australia have selected Usman Khawaja to replace Shaun Marsh for the second Chappell-Hadlee one day international in Wellington tomorrow.

Khawaja was a surprise omission from opening ODI in Auckland.

Marsh contributed five in the 159-run loss.

In the other change, leg spinner Adam Zampa will make his international debut, after James Faulkner was ruled out injured.

It will be Khawaja's first ODI appearance in three years.

His recent Big Bash League form steered the Sydney Thunder to the title.

In his last four T20 innings Khawaja made 345 runs, including two centuries and two fifties. He averaged 115 with a strike rate of 164.

"I'm not a big believer in form, to be honest," Khawaja said. "This is a new challenge. Nothing I did previously has any effect on what I do tomorrow."

What about the crowds though, with their 'colourful' banter?

"It seems the go here, but that's part of the game. When we play domestically in Perth or Adelaide they can be pretty rowdy, too, but the accents here are kind of funny, so I enjoy it."

Khawaja's only previous New Zealand experience came during a schools carnival in Christchurch.

"We played against some school called St Andrew's where we got bullied by some guy who was about six-foot-six. Another guy hit about 36 off four balls. That's not even possible, but I think he did it. It was good fun."

He said playing at Westpac Stadium marked a change from Eden Park.

"When guys chip it over your head for a six, it's bizarre."

Australia must win tomorrow's match to keep the three-match series alive.

- NZ Herald

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