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ICC World Cup 2019 | We Don’t Have Any Issue Batting Anywhere: Khawaja

Cricketnext Staff |June 22, 2019, 2:24 PM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | We Don’t Have Any Issue Batting Anywhere: Khawaja

Australian batsman Usman Khawaja has been shuttled up and down the batting order ever since David Warner and Steve Smith have returned to the side after serving their one-year bans for ball tampering. In the lead up to the ICC World Cup, Khawaja had formed a successful ODI opening pair with skipper Aaron Finch before being asked to vacate that pace for Warner.

The Australian southpaw notched up an impressive 89 against Bangladesh in their last World Cup game at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Thursday (June 20). In that game, Khawaja came ahead of Smith, who has batted in the No. 3 position. Smith batted at No. 6 against Bangladesh, a position occupied by Khawaja in the game against Pakistan.

“It's all above board, everyone is communicating, everyone is talking and no one - myself, Smithy, Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) — no-one really has any issue batting anywhere,” Khawaja told the media.

“Where the game situation is for us, down there wherever we are, is what we will play. Whether that is against India where we needed 10 an over, or a first innings like this (against Bangladesh) where we are setting a total, we are just playing a game situation.

“What the team needs (comes first). We are all really happy with that,” the 32-year-old added.

For Khawaja specifically, Australia's method has forced him to adapt his game to different positions.

“Whether I am coming in in the 15th over, 30th over, 45th over, whether we are chasing, whether we are setting (a total) the way I am going to play is dictated by the game,” Khawaja said.

“That is the difference between batting in the middle order and when you are opening. Because when you are opening, you are there in the first 10 overs, the game plan is pretty simple - you try and get as many runs as you can in the power play and you go from there. There is that little bit of difference,” Khawaja, who also scored 42 against India, said.

The Aussies made a call to stick with him at No. 3 although two lefties were in the middle when Aaron Finch was dismissed in the 21st over against Bangladesh.

Khawaja smashed 89 off only 72 balls to finish with a better strike-rate than even Warner, who blasted 166 off 147 deliveries.

“I have felt good throughout the whole of this tournament,” Khawaja said. “I wasn't panicking. … I was just going to do whatever the team needed and try to put any personal feeling I had aside.

“That is the way I play my best cricket and that is what I focus on,” he added.

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Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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