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Australia recall Khawaja, Zampa in bid to save series against New Zealand

In-form Batsman Usman Khawaja Has Been Recalled To The Australian Side As The World Champions Fight To Stay Alive In Their One-day International Series Against New Zealand On Saturday.

PTI | Updated on: 05 Feb 2016, 10:16:12 AM


In-form batsman Usman Khawaja has been recalled to the Australian side as the world champions fight to stay alive in their one-day international series against New Zealand on Saturday.

Shaun Marsh was surprisingly preferred to Khawaja in the team thrashed by 159 runs in Auckland on Wednesday in the first tie of the three-match series.

Australia have also brought in leg-spinner Adam Zampa for the second round in Wellington to replace injured quick James Faulkner.

Khawaja, who has not played an ODI for three years but scored centuries in three consecutive Tests against New Zealand and the West Indies late last year, said Australia have already put the ODI humiliation behind them.

“We just had an off-day the other day. It happens no matter who you are, you don’t have to worry about that. We’re a good enough team if we do the basics right,” he said.

The 29-year-old Pakistan-born left-hander, also downplayed his golden run of form in Tests, saying the ODIs in New Zealand conditions were a new challenge.

“The past is done. I’m feeling really good right now but that doesn’t mean I’m going to contribute runs,” he said after surveying the wicket at Westpac Stadium.

“New Zealand are very good in their conditions, as we are at home. I think they’ll come hard again. They’re going to try and win this series 2-0.”

The Australians came in for a lot of abuse from a partisan crowd in Auckland, with several spectators ejected from the ground.

New Zealand cricket boss David White described the abusive fans as a minority who were not welcome.

“We don’t try and judge the fan behaviour, but we agree there are hard limits and offensive behaviour is one of them,” he said.

“A bit of banter, that’s fine, but consistent abuse of players is not tolerated.”

The Australians, however, denied the crowd behaviour bothered them, with Khawaja saying it was no different to playing an away game in domestic cricket.

“It’s part of the game. When you play domestic cricket back home, when you play in WA (Western Australia) or play on Adelaide Oval they’re pretty rowdy there too when you play for an opposition side.

“It’s not too different. The accents are different and I kind of enjoy that.”

The third and final ODI will be played in Hamilton on Monday.

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First Published : 05 Feb 2016, 10:14:00 AM