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Usman Khawaja drafted as cover for David Warner

Usman Khawaja drafted as cover for David Warner
Usman Khawaja has scored 14 runs from the three ODIs he has featured previously.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

The Australian selectors have granted David Warner paternity leave for the birth of his second child and have named Usman Khawaja as the replacement for the second and third One-Day Internationals against India.

At the end of the third Test against West Indies, Warner revealed that the baby was due at the end of January and further added, “I’m just looking forward to playing the first couple of one-dayers first and obviously I’ll be by the phone to wait for that phone call.”

Khawaja made his ODI debut in the year 2013 against Sri Lanka in Melbourne but had minimal returns scoring just 14 runs from his three appearances in the format.

However, from 59 List-A games that Khawaja has featured played in his career, he has 2469 runs at an average of 46.58 including eight centuries and 13 fifties.

The 29-year-old has been in a tremendous run of form recently, including three back to back Test hundreds and a century in the KFC Big Bash.

Chairman of the Australian selectors Rod Marsh stated that Khawaja deserves his call up to the ODI squad for his excellent form in recent times.

“Usman has been in fantastic form this season and was unlucky to miss out on a place in our squad for the ODI Series in the first place,” said Marsh.

“This call-up is a reward for that form and it is great to have someone of his quality to step into the squad in David’s absence.

“We wish both David and Candice well and look forward to welcoming David back into the squad when circumstances allow.”

Riding on hundreds from Steven Smith and George Bailey, Australia defeated India by five wickets in the first ODI in Perth and took an early 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

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