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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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Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 3882 105
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5093 127
2 India 5819 119
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 South Africa 3345 108
5 Australia 3518 107
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 5285 278
2 England 4564 268
3 India 9319 266
4 Pakistan 5470 260
5 South Africa 4380 258
see more