Australian player Usman Khawaja said he had not thought that the return of David Warner to his side would have his own chance of being selected for the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
Khawaja, recalled to India in January after a gap of almost two years for the Australian home series, took advantage of this opportunity with six and more than fifty points in his last 10 innings, including two hundred. His grandiose form now adds to the selector’s headache as they try to push the returning Warner and Steve Smith back in the side.
However, Khawaja sounded happy with his current form and said his focus was on the three remaining games in the Pakistan series. “It’s a long way from the [World Cup], for me it’s the next three games,” he said on Wednesday, March 27, ahead of the third ODI.
“[Warner’s return] is not something I’ve even considered, I just enjoy playing one-day cricket.”
Australia, who beat 2-0 in the five-game series, comfortably beat 281 and 285 goals in their first two games. Khawaja and Finch shared a 209-run opening stand in the second ODI, marking the first time that Khawaja had opened more than 200 in ODIs.
“Finchy [hits] a lot straighter, hits the ball hard and I’m working around somehow, I think we just complement each other,” he said. “In Sharjah, we talked a lot about the game situation, and I think it’s a quick start when he [Finch] somehow started to find the rhythm, so I was a bit more difficult.
“After we left the powerplay, the spinner came up with the wind, picked it up and hit him for a six, and you could see him regaining his rhythm, and when he found his rhythm, I was just happy with him If Finchy leaves, just let him go. “
The return of his skipper to the form was no surprise to Khawaja. Finch broke the drought first with 93 against India in the third ODI in Ranchi. He had also made some solid starts in this series and seemed to regain his touch. He then reached its peak during the Pakistan series, where he now has two centuries in as many games.
He’s got a 90 and we’ve got a few starts and he looked good, but of course it’s nice to make that 100. It’s nice to see him back He is the same old Finchy, “said the opener.
“He’s a really good player and he has always scored runs, it was just a matter of time, it just takes a few overs here and there where anyone can click.”
Although Australia finished 2-0, Khawaja was aware of the teachings from the ODI series in India, where Australia had backed away from a similar backlog to win the series.
“We saw in India that it was a 2-0 win and we came back to win this series, it’s never over, we can not have it easy now, we have to finish the next game,” he said. “We can not relax, we can not believe that we have done all the hard work and that we are fine now, there are still three games left and three games are a long time in cricket.
“We really want to be clinical and have to do it again and again, winning is a habit, so hopefully we can make it a habit.”