Khawaja expects tight NatWest Series
Australia batsman Usman Khawaja still believes the NatWest Series will be a close affair despite England taking a 1-0 lead following their 15-run victory at Lord’s.
The 25-year-old has played six Test matches for the Baggy Greens, making his debut in the 2011/12 Ashes series down under against England.
Khawaja has never represented his country in 50-over cricket, but has played with and against most of Australia’s ODI squad and insists, despite it being in English conditions, the series will be a tightly-fought contest in which the tourists can come out on top.
“I think it will be a very good series,” Khawaja told ecb.co.uk. “Australia are playing some really good one-day cricket. We have got a really good balanced line-up and England obviously played really well against West Indies too so it is really hard to call.
“We have got a really good pace bowling attack and we have got a really good batting side, people are in good shape and are well rested.
“But England have had the playing time against West Indies and we are in England so it will just depend on how well the Aussies can develop to the conditions and if they can do that they have a chance of winning the series.”
The opening batsman is currently featuring as Derbyshire’s overseas player and has played in all of the Falcons’ 2012 Friends Life t20 games, but he is eyeing the four-day game as his opportunity to excel in order to get back onto the international stage.
“I absolutely want to try and get another opportunity with the Test side,” Khawaja added. “I must try and perform and learn as much as I can here in English conditions and try and develop my game as much as I can, and of course score loads of runs.
“It is about putting my hand up, getting back into the team and I just have to keep my head down, keep performing and fingers crossed if I do that then selection will take care of itself.
“The Ashes is the biggest series we have and playing in English conditions is a big plus. I have played in almost every Test-playing ground and gained valuable experience which will hopefully work in my favour.”