Australian ODI squad against New Zealand announced, Usman Khawaja misses out
Australia named their squad for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy (one-day international series) in New Zealand next month on January 25. The world champions are in brilliant form as the crushed India 4-1 in the recently concluded five-match ODI series. The Australian selectors were in no mood to change the winning combination as the named nearly the same squad that played India to show their faith in the players. In-form batsman Usman Khawaja did not find himself in the mix despite a superb show in the Big Bash League.
The Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series starts in Auckland on February 3.
In a press conference in Sydney on January 25, Australian selector Rod Marsh said, "This squad remains largely unchanged after a fantastic series win against India,"
Nathan Lyon is out of the squad and Adam Zampa replaces him for the New Zealand tour. Australia want their leading spinner to return to domestic action to prepare for the upcoming two-Test series in New Zealand. This is a big opportunity for Zampa to show his capability before the ICC World T20 starting from March.
Marsh said, "We have selected Adam Zampa as the spinning option for this tour in place of Nathan Lyon. This will give us a chance to have a good look at Adam ahead of the ICC World T20."
“That tournament takes place in India during March and April. Adam has certainly put forward a strong case for selection through good performances in the KFC Big Bash (League) and we think he has thoroughly earned this opportunity."
But the biggest controversy regarding the squad selection is that of Khawaja being left out. There was no place for Khawaja despite of his match-winning performance in the BBL final on January 24, when he hit 70 off 40 deliveries. Another Australian selector, and former batsman, Mark Waugh led a charge for Khawaja's inclusion in the ODI squad. He argued that Khawaja is the top opener in the world today.
Waugh said, "He is batting as well as anyone can possibly bat."
Marsh chose to focus on the upcoming challenges in New Zealand. He said, "We know one of the biggest challenges we will face in New Zealand is adapting to the change in conditions."
He added, "The New Zealand side will be very tough to beat in their home conditions. We know we will need to be at the top of our game if we want to be competitive."
Australian ODI squad against New Zealand: Steve Smith (Captain), David Warner (Vice-captain), George Bailey, Scott Boland, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazelwood, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Matthew Wade (wicket-keeper), Adam Zampa.