Usman Khawaja has provided Australia coach Justin Langer with a selection headache ahead of the defending champions’ World Cup opener on June 1 against Afghanistan with another strong outing in their final warm-up match.
The left-hander, batting in his preferred opening position, anchored Australia’s five-wicket victory with the top score of 89 against Sri Lanka on Monday.
Langer now has the unenviable task of trying to decide the makeup of his batting lineup for their first game in Bristol, with captain Aaron Finch and the recalled David Warner also in the mix to open the innings.
Khawaja, who only returned to the one-day side earlier this year after a two-year absence, has prospered upon his recall and scored 655 runs in 10 innings as an opener, well above his career average of 44.21.
Warner’s return from a 12-month ban for ball tampering and his scintillating form in the Indian Premier League, where he was the top run scorer, has complicated the equation but Khawaja does not care where he bats.
“I do love opening, that’s where I’ve batted my whole life in one-day cricket,” Khawaja told reporters.”