New Delhi: As Steve Smith had stated prior to the first ODI against New Zealand that Usman Khawaja will be mentioned in the team list as the three-match series progresses, the time has come for the left hander to finally see himself in the set-up.
In-form Khawaja has been selected to play his first one-day international in three years when Australia meet New Zealand in the second match of their series in Wellington on Saturday.
Khawaja was overlooked for the first ODI as the Aussies decided to favour Shaun Marsh. But after the staggering 159-run loss, Khawaja replaces Marsh and will open the batting alongside David Warner.
The 29-year-old Khawaja has been in superb touch during the entire summer at home, hitting three centuries in four tests against New Zealand and West Indies. He then went on to light up the Big Bash League after helping help Sydney Thunder capture the title.
Khawaja will be eyeing a spot in Australia Twenty squad for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 World Cup and will also hope his form in the summer helps him bag a mammoth deal in the Indian Premier League.
Khawaja last played for Australia in ODIs against the West Indies back in 2013 and will had a meagre performance. On Saturday it is a new challenge the batsman feels.
“It’s a new challenge out there so nothing I did previously has any effect on what I hopefully do tomorrow,” he said.
Khawaja also went on to add that he is hoping to contribute to the team's success in the second ODI.
“The past is done. I’m feeling really good right now but that doesn’t always mean I’m going to score runs. I’m just going to try and contribute to the team to hopefully get us a win in this second game.”
The third and final match of the series is in Hamilton on Monday.