Australia in NZ 2015-16 January 24, 2016

Khawaja, Burns left out of ODI squad


Khawaja and Burns were omitted as Australia did not want to tinker with a settled batting line-up © Getty Images

Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns will enter Australia's tilt for the No.1 Test ranking without a single warm-up innings on New Zealand soil, after the national selectors resisted temptation to significantly alter the ODI squad.

The only concession to the two Tests in Wellington and Christchurch was the omission of Nathan Lyon after his indifferent displays against India at home, opening up room for the legspinner Adam Zampa to make his international debut while the panel deliberate on his possible inclusion in the World Twenty20 squad.

Lyon will instead play in the Sheffield Shield match being played between New South Wales and Western Australia at New Zealand Cricket headquarters in Lincoln near Christchurch. However, Khawaja and Burns will be expected to make the Trans-Tasman adjustments from home, playing for Queensland.

Despite his stunning run of form in the Big Bash League following on from a breakout Test summer, Khawaja remained surplus to a settled ODI batting line-up, as the captain Steven Smith had predicted. The likes of Aaron Finch and George Bailey are a long way from Test calculation, but have done nothing to deserve omission from the 50-over team.

The selection chairman Rod Marsh acknowledged that coping with foreign conditions was the greatest blind spot of the Australian side, something shown in 2015 during the Ashes but also in their lone loss of the World Cup, against New Zealand at a raucous Eden Park.

"We know one of the biggest challenges we will face in New Zealand is adapting to the change in conditions," he said. "It has been well documented that this is something we have struggled with in recent times and a major focus for this squad will be to reverse that trend.

"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."

Marsh said the panel's preference was for Lyon to get some time bowling in a first-class environment before the Test matches, while also deliberating on the value of Zampa, who again bowled well for the Melbourne Stars in the BBL final on Sunday night.

"We have selected Adam Zampa as the spinning option for this tour in place of Nathan Lyon," Marsh said. "We want Nathan to use the NSW versus West Australia Sheffield Shield match in New Zealand as preparation for the Test Series and this will give us a chance to have a good look at Adam ahead of the ICC World T20.

"Adam has certainly put forward a strong case for selection through good performances in the Big Bash as well as the Matador Cup earlier in the season and we think he has thoroughly earned this opportunity."

The captain Smith and his deputy David Warner will be leaving Australia on Saturday in order to prepare in advance for New Zealand, having been rested from the latter two T20 internationals against India that follow Tuesday's opening match on Australia Day in Adelaide.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • bestgore on January 27, 2016, 3:53 GMT

    so its clear that marsh family is ruling CA.good.

  • da_fighter on January 27, 2016, 3:02 GMT

    it's bizarre selection.Usman Khawaja sould be in the Australian team in all 3 formats at the moment on merit

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 26, 2016, 11:13 GMT

    I would have thought that Usman Khawaja would be in the Australian team in all 3 formats at the moment on merit. And Chris Lynn should be joining him.

  • Micky.Panda on January 26, 2016, 5:03 GMT

    As soon as Australia lose a match for scoring too slowly, it will be evident that Usman Khawaja should have been selected. His form is undeniable against pace or spin. Is Finch better than Khawaja in any format? No. Sean Marsh? Currently no. Khawaja is more confidant to score more quickly. Khawaja should open with Warner. Sean Marsh and Finch both averaged less than other batsmen and at worse strike rates. Strike rate of 100 is the pass mark on such easy pitches. Boland selection also a mystery to me. Behrendorf perhaps?

  • gaur007 on January 26, 2016, 3:45 GMT

    i don't understand the selection of's bizarre selection.

  • Insult_2_Injury on January 26, 2016, 3:08 GMT

    Can anyone tell me what the point of this India visit was? Was it to fill a CA perceived revenue void which would be created by an under performing W Indies? With the hoardings at Aussie venues carrying Indian sponsors and Australia resting half its team including in form Cap't & V-C for 2 of 3 T20's it appears to be a pre-arranged flat track Indian TV episode for the Indian home off -season!

  • Salmon89 on January 25, 2016, 21:54 GMT

    For all the fans calling for Khawaja's inclusion - for all his great exploits this season, there has to be a spot in the team available. Usman is not the first guy to not get selected when he deserves it. Finch, Warner, Smith, Bailey & M Marsh all scored hundreds. Maxwell got a 96 (& bowls useful overs) & S Marsh got 2 50s in 3 innings filling in. Not sure why any of these players deserve to be dropped. Thinking ahead to the Test, it won't be the worst thing that Usman gets to play a Shield game. The selectors obviously rate Khawaja - they dropped S Marsh after he scored 182 to include Usman after his injury.

  • JaredHansen on January 25, 2016, 21:47 GMT

    We're really backing Boland some more? Hmm, okay. They've got some hunch about him clearly. I know a lot of our bowlers are out atm but Jackson Bird has a similar List A record and is reasonably likely to play in the tests.

  • Salmon89 on January 25, 2016, 21:41 GMT

    @ Theripper - Australia is missing Starc, Coulter-Nile & Pattinson. Their availability would give Australia their 1st choice side, along with the inclusion of Hazelwood for the NZ tour.

  • D.S.A on January 25, 2016, 15:45 GMT

    @paul_rampley: He also said Alex Doolan should be Australia's number 3 in were saying? He also picked Finch ahead of Simmons for the Mumbai Indians last year, despite Simmons having had an incredible IPL season in the previous year. Finch failed in 2015; Simmons did anything but fail, leading Mumbai to the title. What were saying about Ponting and his judgement on players? Khawaja may be one of Australia's best batsmen in his generation, but it is not because Ponting says so; that is for sure.

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