Wellington - In-form batsman Usman Khawaja
has been recalled to the Australian side as the world champions fight to stay
alive in their one-day international series against New Zealand on Saturday.
Victory for New Zealand at their Westpac
Stadium fortress would see them wrap up the series with a game to spare and
snap a remarkable run by Australia who have won their last six ODI series and
the World Cup over the past two years.
Shaun Marsh was surprisingly preferred to
Khawaja in the team thrashed by 159 runs in Auckland on Wednesday in the first
tie of the three-match series.
Australia have also brought in leg-spinner
Adam Zampa for the second round in Wellington to replace injured quick James
Khawaja, who has not played an ODI for
three years but scored centuries in three consecutive Tests against New Zealand
and the West Indies late last year, said Australia have already put the ODI
humiliation behind them.
"We just had an off-day the other day.
It happens no matter who you are, you don't have to worry about that. We're a
good enough team if we do the basics right," he said.
The 29-year-old Pakistan-born left-hander
also downplayed his golden run of form in Tests, saying the ODIs in New Zealand
conditions were a new challenge.
"The past is done. I'm feeling really
good right now but that doesn't mean I'm going to contribute runs," he
said after surveying the wicket at Westpac Stadium on Friday.
"New Zealand are very good in their
conditions, as we are at home. I think they'll come hard again. They're going
to try and win this series 2-0."
New Zealand have an air of confidence
playing at Westpac where they have lost only eight of 26 ODIs and opener Martin
Guptill smacked an unbeaten 237 in a World Cup fixture against the West Indies
a year ago.
Guptill hit 11 sixes and 24 fours in that
innings and remains in rich form with a top score of 90 when New Zealand beat
Australia this week.
All-rounder Corey Anderson said they expect
Australia to be stronger than they were in Auckland but the Wellington stadium
is a ground that suits New Zealand.
"It's always an advantage playing at
home, familiar pitches and familiar ground sizes, and it's something the
touring teams have to get used to," he said.
"Regardless of what XI Aussie put out
it's always going to be a strong side. The series is still on the line so we're
going to hopefully wrap it up."
The Australians came in for a lot of abuse
from a partisan crowd in Auckland, with several spectators ejected from the
New Zealand cricket boss David White
described the abusive fans as a minority who were not welcome.
"We don't try and judge the fan
behaviour, but we agree there are hard limits and offensive behaviour is one of
them," he said.
"A bit of banter, that's fine, but
consistent abuse of players is not tolerated."
The Australians, however, denied the crowd
behaviour bothered them, with Khawaja saying it was no different to playing an
away game in domestic cricket.
"It's part of the game. When you play
domestic cricket back home, when you play in WA (Western Australia) or play on
Adelaide Oval they're pretty rowdy there too when you play for an opposition
side," he said.
"It's not too different. The accents
are different and I kind of enjoy that."
The third and final ODI will be played in
Hamilton on Monday.