Khawaja, Zampa in for second NZ ODI

05 February 2016

Usman Khawaja meets the press in Wellington //

Australia confirm Usman Khawaja will replace Shaun Marsh as opener while Adam Zampa will make international debut in Wellington

Usman Khawaja and Adam Zampa will play in Saturday's second Chappell-Hadlee Trophy ODI in Wellington as Australia seeks a series-levelling victory.

Khawaja is to replace Shaun Marsh, who was selected ahead of Khawaja for the first match after regular limited-overs opener Aaron Finch was injured during the KFC T20 INTL series against India. 

WATCH: Australia's horror collapse in Auckland ODI

Zampa will make his international debut and become Australia's 212th one-day player following a successful summer with the Melbourne Stars in the KFC Big Bash League and Matador Cup with the West End Redbacks.

Clamour for Khawaja from fans and pundits reached fever pitch after Australia slumped to a 159-run defeat in the series-opening ODI in Auckland on Wednesday. In superb form for Australia and the Sydney Thunder throughout the summer, Khawaja was overlooked for Australia's ODI squad against India, before replacing Finch in the T20 side for the third match in Sydney, where he made 14.

Khawaja has not played an ODI for three years - his last game was against the West Indies at the WACA in Feburary 2013 - and was a late addition to this 14-man squad to cover the loss of the injured Finch. 

WATCH: Khawaja's sublime form continued in BBL final

Australia ODI teammate George Bailey this week backed Khawaja to be successful but said he did not understand the public clamour to seek scapegoats.

"It's terriifc that everyone's got an opinion on it (selection)," Bailey told SEN this week.

"I'm pretty amused by the fact that three years ago when Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey retired the whole country was up in arms about the fact we had no batters. Now that we've actually got more than four or five in form we're up in arms again because you can't fit them.

Quick Single: Collapse adds to groundswell for Khawaja

"It's still just 11 players. From a player's perspective, the pleasing thing from our point of view is that you're getting consistency of selection in terms of they're picking a squad, they're going with that original squad, if you're in form and scoring runs, which the guys have been.

"If you look at that ODI record over a long period, the top order has performed very, very well. It's hard to fit guys in. 

"Everyone's aware of how good form Khawaja is in, we all know how good a player he is, we know he'll play for Australia, it's just a matter of time and that time might have come.

Quick Single: Bailey on Warner LBW chat

"One of the great and challenging things about playing for Australia when this situation happens is you're never satisfied. You can score runs one game and know there's still someone breathing down your neck."

About the Writer


Dave Middleton is's senior news editor. From Queensland, he spent 10 years in the UK where he wrote for The Times, The Sunday Times, the Guardian and The Telegraph.

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