Usman Khawaja and his 70-run blistering knock took the Sydney Thunder past the victory line against the Melbourne Stars and handed Mike Hussey the much coveted Big Bash crown. The current form of Usman Khawaja summed up the entire Big Bash league and went on to show how terrific he was with the bat.
The news which might shock many was his exclusion from the Australian squad. Usman Khawaja was snubbed by the Australian selectors for Australia tour of New Zealand starting Feb. 3 despite his terrific run in the Big Bash season.
According to the Guardian reports, uncapped leg-spinner Adam Zampa has been selected for the three-match series against New Zealand. Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood returns to the squad after being rested for the home series against India.
Even Australian spinner Nathan Lyon was dumped from the squad after his poor show against India.
Chairman of selectors Rod Marsh says, “Zampa’s selection ahead of Lyon was double-pronged – to get a look at the emerging legspinner, and also give Lyon a four-day match to prepare for the two-Test series against NZ.”
“We want Nathan to use the NSW versus West Australia Sheffield Shield match in New Zealand as preparation for the Test series,” Marsh said. “And this will give us a chance to have a good look at Adam ahead of the World T20 in India.
“Adam has certainly put forward a strong case for selection through good performances in the Big Bash as well as the Matador Cup earlier in the season and we think he has thoroughly earned this opportunity.”
As per the Sky Sports reports, the test series against New Zealand will start on Feb. 12. The first ODI is scheduled for Feb. 3 at Auckland, second one at Wellington on Feb. 6, and the third one at Hamilton on Feb. 8.
Australian Squad for New Zealand Tour: Steve Smith (capt – NSW), David Warner (vc – NSW), George Bailey (Tas), Scott Boland (Vic), James Faulkner (Tas), Aaron Finch (Vic), John Hastings (Vic), Josh Hazlewood (NSW), Mitchell Marsh (WA), Shaun Marsh (WA), Glenn Maxwell (Vic), Kane Richardson (SA), Matthew Wade (Vic), Adam Zampa (SA)