International Sport

Khawaja into Australia squad as Warner takes paternity leave

Image:Australia’s Usman Khawaja celebrates after reaching his century during the first day of the second cricket test match against New Zealand at the WACA ground in Perth, Western Australia, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray


SYDNEY (Reuters) – Top order batsman Usman Khawaja was brought into the Australia squad for the next two one-day internationals against India on Wednesday after opener David Warner was granted paternity leave.

Warner scored five runs in Australia’s innings as the hosts registered a five-wicket victory in the opening clash of the five-match series in Perth on Tuesday but will miss matches two and three in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Khawaja, who recently made a successful return to test cricket in the home series against New Zealand and West Indies, will replace his fellow lefthander, whose wife Candice is expecting their second child.

“Usman has been in fantastic form this season and was unlucky to miss out on a place in our squad … in the first place,” chief selector Rod Marsh said in a news release.

“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 has played only three one-day internationals, the last coming against West Indies in Perth nearly three years ago.

The second match against India takes place in Brisbane on Friday with the teams meeting at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday before the series concludes with fixtures in Canberra and Sydney.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Andrew Both)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.


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