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Khawaja Urges Australia Not to Relax Against Pakistan

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 26, 2019, 2:18 PM IST
Khawaja Urges Australia Not to Relax Against Pakistan

(Image: Twitter/ICC)

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For the first time in three years, Australia have now won five ODI matches on the bounce, three against India and two against Pakistan in UAE, and opener Usman Khawaja has warned against complacency.

Khawaja, who is in great form at the moment, also played down any talk of his spot in the team for the World Cup being confirmed.

"We'd love to go to Abu Dhabi and finish it off," Khawaja said ahead of Wednesday's third ODI in the United Arab Emirates' capital.

"We saw in India they were 2-0 up and we came back to win that series. It's never quite over. We can't take it easy now, we've got to finish it off that next game.

"We can't get relaxed, we can't think that we've done all the hard work and that we're fine now. There's still three games left and three games is a long time in cricket.

"We want to be really clinical and we've got to keep doing it over and over again. Winning's a habit so hopefully we can make it a habit."

Till recently, Khawaja found it hard to break into the ODI side, but since his comeback he has scored two centuries and 91 in three games against India and 88 in Sharjah against Pakistan. All the contributions being match-winning ones.

He's passed 50 in six of his 10 innings since his return – including four of his past five – while the lowest score from his other four knocks is 21.

The problems with selection once David Warner and Steve Smith return are understandably a topic of conversation as the World Cup approaches, but Khawaja is turning a deaf ear to that.

Asked when he finally allow himself to think about the World Cup, Khawaja said, "I don't … if I'm picked in the team. It's a long way away. For me it's (about) the next three games.

"(Warner's return) is not something I've thought about at all. I'm just enjoying playing one-day cricket."

Khawaja's 209-run opening partnership with skipper Aaron Finch was just the second 200-plus opening stand in Australian ODI history. The duo’s different approach is what makes it difficult for the opposition according to Khawaja.

"I think we just complement each other. In Sharjah, we talked a lot just about the game situation, keeping each other calm," Khawaja said.

"I guess at the start I got off to a quick start when he was sort of struggling to find rhythm early on, so I was going a bit harder."

Speaking to the host broadcaster, he added: "Finchy (hits) a lot straighter, hits the ball hard and I sort of work it (around)."
First Published: March 26, 2019, 2:17 PM IST
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