After being called up for Australia's Twenty20 side, a composed Usman Khawaja said while fierce debate had raged about his non-selection in the national T20 and one-day teams, he hadn't been too worried about it.
Khawaja, who was described as "batting like Brian Lara" by Australian selector Mark Waugh during the Big Bash League final, was rushed into the side that will be led by Shane Watson in Sunday's dead rubber against India because Aaron Finch injured his hamstring during his 74 at the MCG.
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"I haven't really seen the headlines, I don't read the paper, I stay out of it. Mostly what people have told me is what I've heard," Khawaja said of the demands for him to be included in the team that has already lost the series.
"I was just really happy that I was fit and healthy and we won [the BBL with the Sydney Thunder], that was massive, such a great feeling. I didn't really look too far ahead. When I didn't get picked in the one-day team I wasn't too worried, there was a lot of cricket coming up.
"I was really happy with how I was hitting the ball, I was really happy with how much I was enjoying playing cricket.
"To me it was business as usual; I was just getting ready to play the [Sheffield] Shield game."
The 29-year-old is expected to make his T20 international debut at the SCG along with Western Australia's Cameron Bancroft, who will replace wicketkeeper Matt Wade who is in New Zealand preparing for the upcoming one-day series.
Khawaja said his desire to play in all three forms of the game for Australia hadn't impacted on his No.1 priority, which is to simply enjoy playing.
"I've said it before, I love playing the game," he said. "I make sure I go out there and try to enjoy it ... I'm not going to put any added pressure on myself. It's not make or break – one game doesn't change anything for me – it's all about going out there and having fun and trying to contribute to the team.
"Growing up, when I was younger, any time I tried to play for myself I never played well. I learnt and realised over the next few years when I do try to do for the team, whatever I can for the team to win is when I play my best. That's exactly what I'll do [on Sunday] or whenever I play."
However, he hoped the hitout in Sydney could go a long way to helping him force his way into Australia's World T20 Cup squad.
Meanwhile, Australia's stand-in coach Michael Di Venuto said while India have dominated the home team no one was panicking about the prospect of Australia succeeding in next month's World T20 on the subcontinent.
"We've had quite a few debutants so far throughout the series; we've got some players resting or heading to New Zealand and preparing for that series over there so the make-up of our side at the moment, compared to the World T20, might be completely different," he said.
However, Di Venuto was brutally honest when he said India had outmuscled the Australians.
"We're getting completely outplayed in all three departments at the moment: bat, ball and the field," Di Venuto said.
"Their batters are in outstanding touch, and they have been all summer. We're just struggling to get early wickets and get into their middle order so they're playing exceptionally well."
Watson was just as honest when he dissected Australian's capitulation in Melbourne, and he didn't use the six changes to the team as an excuse.
"It's very important for our team through that middle period to build partnerships, which is challenging when the run rate [required] is going up consistently," he said of India's spin.
"You can't just rotate the strike and get six to eight an over when the run rate is going to continue to go up. It's more so coming down to execution, knowing where the areas are to hit against their spinners ."
with Jesse Hogan