Usman Khawaja is not sweating about making it to Australia's World Cup squad

Khawaja opened for Australia in the first ODI against India.

Usman Khawaja
Usman Khawaja. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

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Usman Khawaja has started off well in the five-match ODI series against India, with a half-century in the opener in Hyderabad. Ahead of the World Cup, Australia still have nine ODIs to go with five of those also to be played against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in the last week of March.

While Australia keeps their preparations for the World Cup on, there is also the excitement of the return of suspended duo of Steve Smith and David Warner, who will be eligible for team selection from March 29. Usman Khawaja is considered to be one of the contenders for the opening spots along with Warner.

Want to win matches for Australia

However, Usman Khawaja has brushed aside thoughts that he is vying for a place in the Australian World Cup 2019 squad and instead insists on winning the matches for Australia. “I worked really hard to get back into the one-day team and I am just enjoying the ride, doing the best I can for the team,” quoted Khawaja as saying.

Khawaja admitted that his current focus is on doing well for the Australian team in the limited-overs format in the opportunities that he gets on the road to the World Cup. He made his ODI comeback for Australia against India earlier this year and since then has scored 164 runs in just four innings.

The left-hander is aware of the impending return of David Warner and Steve Smith, regarded as two of the best in the world when it comes to all the three formats of international cricket. “They are world-class players and they have been amazing for the one-day team for Australia for a long time. I am sure when they do come back they will be welcomed with open arms,” Khawaja was quoted as saying.

Challenge is to take advantage of first 10 overs of powerplay

The 32-year-old opener has been in and out of the team thanks to his inconsistent performances and lack of opportunities at the top of the order. Usman Khawaja himself knows what he needs to do in order to become the top contender for the opener’s spot for the upcoming World Cup.

He singled out that fact that he needed to take better advantage of the first 10 overs of powerplay in the ODI games. “It is all about executing your skill, do it better for longer. The best players do that – there are always risks to be taken in one-day cricket, as there are in T20 cricket,” Khawaja further added. He also said that people don’t realize the risk involved in hitting that one four until the batsman fails to execute the shot perfectly.

Australia has lost the first ODI in Hyderabad and will want to change their fortunes in the upcoming four matches, with the next ODI scheduled for March 5 in Nagpur.

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