David Warner’s paternity leave has opened the ODI doors for Usman Khawaja after nearly three years in Australia’s ongoing series against India and the Test regular says he would look to make an immediate mark should he make the final XI for the second ODI here on Friday.
Khawaja has played only three ODIs in his career, the last of which was back in February 2013 against the West Indies. However, the 29-year-old has been a more regular member of the Test team since making his debut in 2011.
Included in the ODI side for the ongoing series after Warner was released to be with his expecting wife Candice, Khawaja said he is happy to get the lucky break.
“I am just happy to be selected for the ODIs. I am not sure whether I will be picked in the final XI but it is always nice to be picked or selected in the squad because this is like getting rewarded for good work,” he told reporters.
“I haven’t been told anything on whether I will play or not. I am just using my common sense, since David is not there, I am expecting to play,” he added.
Asked if being ignored for the shorter format hurt him given his reasonably good showing in the Tests, Khawaja said the disappointment was obvious but he has not let that get in the way of his performances.
“I was disappointed not to get in that first squad but I have been dropped enough and selected enough in my career to know that worrying about it, is not going to help. I was disappointed but I have moved on. Any chance you get to play for Australia is amazing,” he said.
“I want to play as many formats for Australia as possible. I am really happy with how the Test stuff has gone. There is a lot of one-day cricket coming up in the next year and I would love to be a part of it. Hopefully I can contribute moving forward,” he said.
Asked if it would be tough to adjust to the format given he hasn’t played much of it, Khawaja said he always finds it tougher to shift from Test to limited-overs games and not vice-versa. “We are number one in the world and I had like to keep it that way,” he added.