Khawaja named as Australia eye response
Usman Khawaja is unfazed by his good form after being named in Australia’s team to face New Zealand in a must-win second one-day international.
The left-hander will replace Shaun Marsh in the tourists’ side as they look to respond at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.
Adam Zampa has also been included in the XI – replacing the injured James Faulkner – in a game Australia must win to stay alive in the three-match ODI series.
The Black Caps claimed a 159-run win in the series opener in Auckland, giving them a huge boost against the world’s top-ranked ODI outfit.
But awaiting them this time is Khawaja, who has been in stunning form.
The 29-year-old impressed in Test series against New Zealand and West Indies before starring in the Big Bash League.
He made 14 in a Twenty20 against India and the clash in Wellington marks his first ODI since early 2013.
Despite his recent runs, Khawaja said they meant nothing ahead of the second game of the series.
“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.”
Australia were humbled in Auckland, bowled out for 148 in their chase of New Zealand’s 307-8.
Trent Boult (3-38) and Matt Henry (3-41) starred with the ball for the hosts, while opener Martin Guptill had set them up with his 90.
Matthew Wade (37) was the tourists’ leading run-scorer in the heavy loss, which was made worse with Faulkner’s hamstring injury.
Khawaja expects the hosts to attack Australia, who called up Marcus Stoinis to replace Faulkner, once more.
“New Zealand are very good in their conditions, as we are at home. I think they’ll come hard again,” he said.
“They’re going to try and win this series 2-0.”
New Zealand were dominant at Eden Park and can seal the series with a repeat performance.