Khawaja not worried about Warner return | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 27, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 27, 2019

Khawaja not worried about Warner return

Australia opener Usman Khawaja has said that he hasn't thought about the effect that David Warner's return to the side will have on his own chances of getting selected for the ICC World Cup 2019.

Khawaja, who was recalled for Australia's home series against India in January after a gap of nearly two years, has capitalised on the opportunity with six fifty-plus scores in his last 10 innings, including two hundreds. His terrific form now adds to the selectors' headache as they try to slot the returning Warner and Steve Smith back into the side.

Khawaja, though, sounded happy about his current run of form, saying that his focus was on the three remaining games in the Pakistan series. "It's [World Cup] a long way away. For me, it's [about] the next three games,” he said ahead of the third ODI on Wednesday.

"[Warner's return] is not something I've thought about at all. I'm just enjoying playing one-day cricket."

Australia, who are 2-0 up in the five-match series, comfortably ran down targets of 281 and 285 in the first two games. Khawaja and Finch shared a 209-run opening stand in the second ODI, which marked the first time Khawaja had shared a 200-plus opening stand in ODIs.

"Finchy [hits] a lot straighter, hits the ball hard, and I sort of work it [around]. I think we just complement each other,” he said. “In Sharjah, we talked a lot just about the game situation, keeping each other calm. I guess at the start, I got off to a quick start when he [Finch] was sort of struggling to find rhythm early on, so I was going a bit harder.

"Once we got out of the Powerplay, the spinner came on with the wind. He took him on and hit him for a six, and you could just see him find his rhythm again. When he started finding his rhythm, I was just happy to give him strike. When Finchy is going, just let him go.”

His skipper's return to form came as little surprise to Khawaja. Finch first broke the drought with 93 against India in the third ODI in Ranchi. He had also made some solid starts in that series and looked to be regaining his touch. He then peaked during the Pakistan series, where he now has two centuries in as many games.

"I think he was batting well last tour too. He got a 90 and we got a couple of starts and he was looking good. But it's obviously nice to get that 100 done. It's nice to see him be himself again. Nice to see him being the same old Finchy," said the opener.

"He is a really good player and he was always going to score runs. It was only a matter of time. It only takes a few overs here and there for someone to click."

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