Khawaja in, Warner out on paternity leave
Usman Khawaja has been drafted into the Australian squad for the second and third ODIs against India as cover for David Warner, who goes on paternity leave. Warner and his wife Candice are expecting their second child very soon.
Warner had said the baby was due towards the end of January during a media interaction after the Sydney Test against West Indies. "I'm just looking forward to playing the first couple of one-dayers first and obviously I'll be by the phone to wait for that phone call."
Now that it's arrived Australia have swapped one in-form left-handed opener for another. Khawaja has been stunning over the last few months in competitive cricket. Four of his last seven innings in Test and Big Bash League cricket have been hundreds. He hit them back-to-back against New Zealand in Brisbane and Perth, but missed out on the Day-Night Test in Adelaide with a hamstring injury. A century in the BBL on his return proved there was no lingering discomfort and then plundered 144 and 56 in the Melbourne Test against West Indies a few days later.
"Usman has been in fantastic form this season and was unlucky to miss out on a place in our squad for the ODI Series in the first place," national selector Rod Marsh said. "This call-up is a reward for that form and it is great to have someone of his quality to step into the squad in David's absence. We wish both David and Candice well and look forward to welcoming David back into the squad when circumstances allow."
Khawaja will join the Australian side in Brisbane, where the second ODI takes place on January 15. He will not be available for Sydney Thunder duty during this time.