Usman Khawaja: In-form Aussie batsman overlooked for first ODI against New Zealand
The left-hander Khawaja is in the form of his life but Shaun Marsh has been preferred.
New Delhi: Australia have decided to stick with Shaun Marsh and leave out Usman Khawaja for the first ODI against New Zealand to be played in Auckland on Wednesday.
With the Australian side boasting of several in-form players fighting out for a place in the opening slot, Khawaja will still feel disappointed with his axe.
With an injury to Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh will open the batting alongside David Warner. Marsh got the nod for scores of 71, 62 and seven while David Warner was on parental leave, in the series against India last month.
The left-hander Khawaja is in the form of his life and Steve Smith acknowledged the fact that the 29-year-old has the right to feel aggrieved for the snub.
Smith stated that Khawaja is unlucky to miss out as Shaun is getting the first opportunity and that will be frustrating for him.
“He’s unlucky to miss out but Shaun’s going to get the first opportunity. No doubt he’d be frustrated. He’s hitting the ball extremely well,” said Smith.
Khawaja struck three centuries in four Tests against New Zealand and West Indies, and hit two Twenty20 hundreds to help Sydney Thunder capture their first Big Bash League title. The summer turned out to be an excellent time for him and yet he doesn't find a chance in the side.
With Australia dominating the ODI scenario since quite sometime, it is difficult for anybody despite their form to break into the winning team. Smith pointed out that before adding that Khawaja will at least play one ODI game against the Kiwis ahead of the Tests where he is so pivotal.
I think he’ll play one of the (three ODI) games at least.”
Australia XI to face New Zealand: Shaun Marsh, David Warner, Steve Smith (capt), George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Marsh, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Kane Richardson, Josh Hazlewood.
(With Agency inputs)