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Cricket World Cup 2019 | Losing ODI Series to India at Home Was Turning Point: Usman Khawaja

Cricketnext Staff | June 3, 2019, 7:33 PM IST

Usman Khawaja believes Australia’s narrow 2-1 ODI series loss to India at home earlier this year was a turning point for the side as they took belief from their performances in that series.

Khawaja, who scored 89 as Australia went on to register a comfortable victory in their final ICC World Cup 2019 warm-up game against Sri Lanka, said the team’s behind the scenes efforts are finally bearing fruit.

“Behind the scenes we’ve put in a lot of hard work, you need that to be able to compete at this level,” said Khawaja after the match.

“Everyone has put in a lot of effort. We had India over in our place for a series and while we lost, that was a big turning point for us.

“They’re one of the best sides and we gave them a run for their money. Then we went to India, lost the first two matches and went on to win the series. We always had the confidence we could do that.”

Khawaja further added that Australia have rediscovered their ‘winning habit’ over the past few months, something backed up by their recent ODI performances: they beat India 3-2 away from home before whitewashing Pakistan 5-0 in UAE.

“Winning is a habit, we say that a lot among the team. We want to keep that going, we might have lost that before, but we might have found that again heading into the World Cup.

“I know what it feels like when you’re losing and I know what it’s like when winning, it’s obvious which one you want.

“This time last year there was a lot of talk about our batting, everyone has their different plans – it’s just about winning games and we’re managing to do that.”

Much has been made about Khawaja’s batting position now that David Warner is back in the side. Against Sri Lanka, Khawaja opened the innings alongside skipper Aaron Finch but has said he’s not thinking about where he bats in the World Cup.

“I wasn’t thinking about securing an opening berth, we’ve looked to be clinical and not take it lightly. We’ve won three warm-ups here, and it was more about us continuing the winning ways in Dubai and India.

“I was concentrating on contributing to that winning run – some things are just out of your control. It’s a mindset thing, opening is slightly different to three which in itself is different to five.

“The beauty of our team is that guys can bat in different positions, we’ve changed it around but we’ve all contributed which is the important thing.

“I do love opening, that’s where I’ve batted my whole life in one-day cricket. But it’s about winning games and doing the best of the team – I’d rather score a duck and win than a century and lose.”

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
NZ
5 4 0 1 9 +1.59
2
ENG
5 4 1 0 8 +1.86
3
AUS
5 4 1 0 8 +0.81
4
IND
4 3 0 1 7 +1.02
5
BAN
5 2 2 1 5 -0.27
6
SL
5 1 2 2 4 -1.77
7
WI
5 1 3 1 3 +0.27
8
SA
6 1 4 1 3 -0.19
9
PAK
5 1 3 1 3 -1.93
10
AFG
5 0 5 0 0 -2.08

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more