Australia replace batsman Warner with Khawaja

Melbourne, Jan 12 (IANS) Australia on Tuesday named Queensland batsman Usman Khawaja as a replacement for David Warner who is taking paternity leave and will miss the rest of the One-Day International (ODI) Series against India.

Left-handed opening batsman Warner leaves the squad to be with wife Candice with the couple expecting their second child imminently.

“Khawaja will join the squad in Brisbane and, at this stage, will remain for matches two (January 15) and three (January 17) of the five-game series,” Cricket Australia (CA) said in a statement.

Commenting on Usman Khawaja’s call-up, national selector Rod Marsh said: “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.

“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.”

Khawaja’s most recent innings was a 42-ball 62 for the Sydney Thunder against the Melbourne Renegades on January 11 and that followed on from his scores of 144 and 56 against the West Indies in the Boxing Day Test of the Commonwealth Bank series.

That was his comeback to international cricket after a hamstring injury struck following scores of 174, nine not out and 121 in Test action against New Zealand.

And after recovering from that injury, his first innings back was a brilliant 109 from 70 balls for the Thunder against the Melbourne Stars at the MCG on 20 December.

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