India in Australia 2015-16 January 12, 2016

Khawaja in, Warner out on paternity leave

ESPNcricinfo staff
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File photo: David Warner is awaiting the birth of his second child © Getty Images

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.

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  • mohsin9975 on January 14, 2016, 6:53 GMT

    @ Himanshu.Team...Don't really agree. AUS would rather bat first in all 5 matches given their weak bowling (compared to their usual standards but still comparable to India playing at home). That would help them use scoreboard pressure while defending big totals. That can also bring the home crowd support into play as well which the inexperienced Aussie pace attack is in dire need of

  • mohsin9975 on January 14, 2016, 4:22 GMT

    Open with Wade & Finch. Khwaja/Marsh @ 3. Smith @ 4. Hastings for M Marsh in the 2nd ODI. If AUS win @ Gabba with this XI, they will rest Hazelwood as well for 3rd ODI. Expect Richardson/Behrendorff to replace him & M Marsh back in place of Hastings. If AUS go 3-0 up, selectors may get bolder & rest Smith as well. Bailey will captain. Agar/Boyce may play the next 2 games in place of one of the quicks. Even Finch can be rested for That would be a complete 2nd string AUS side which is still strong enough to win 1 out of the 2 remaining games

  • himanshu.team on January 14, 2016, 4:17 GMT

    I still feel toss will play a crucial feature in the next ODI. The surface will be flat and with the kind of batting prowess both sides posses, they will go after scores of 300+ with great confidence.

  • mohsin9975 on January 14, 2016, 0:07 GMT

    Open with Wade & Finch. Khwaja/Marsh @ 3. Smith @ 4. Hastings for M Marsh in the 2nd ODI. If AUS win @ Gabba with this XI, they will rest Hazelwood as well for 3rd ODI. Expect Richardson/Behrendorff to replace him & M Marsh back in place of Hastings. If AUS go 3-0 up, selectors may get bolder & rest Smith as well. Bailey will captain. Agar/Boyce may play the next 2 games in place of one of the quicks. That would be complete 2nd string AUS side which is still strong enough to win 1 out of the 2 remaining games

  • Peter_The_Average on January 13, 2016, 21:44 GMT

    This is nice but it underlines how unimportant CA considers this series, no wonder crowds are down for ODIs. A third string attack now Warner taking time out makes going to the grounds not worth the effort.

  • Jose...P on January 13, 2016, 13:54 GMT

    What a lovely picture! Popeye Warner & his lil Candy. "Forward, March!" One paw at a time! So, endearing to see it coming from someone who looks more like a tough WWF wrestler, if he hadn't played cricket (unthinkable)! Full credit to the lil one for mellowing down her daddy.

  • TheRipper on January 13, 2016, 13:17 GMT

    The baby girl looks just like Warner. Very cute.

  • landl47 on January 13, 2016, 12:42 GMT

    Congratulations to David and Candice Warner.

  • dunger.bob on January 13, 2016, 5:17 GMT

    @ JoshFromJamRock: Starc won't be at the T20 WC. I'd bring Tait along as our enforcer but the selectors don't seem to listen to me. You're right about the WI though. A genuine threat and probably at decent odds too. .. as far as who makes way when Warner comes back - that would normally be the man who came in to replace him. It will be very interesting if Khawaja makes runs. Personally, I don't think we need 3 allrounders so I'd be tempted to keep Ussie and ditch one of the a/rounders. Just who misses out would depend on conditions.

  • Malo Ofmalovia Mark Mullett on January 13, 2016, 4:44 GMT

    Why is Sean Marsh in the squad? Let this poorly treated vagrant play for the Scorchers.

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