Sport

Usman Khawaja facing red-hot company to break into Australia's one-day international, Twenty20 sides

Man of the moment Usman Khawaja has an uphill task to claim a place in Australia's limited-overs sides despite his torrent of runs against both the red and white balls.

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Khawaja stars for grand final-bound Thunder

The Sydney Thunder have reached their first ever final after defeating the Adelaide Strikers by 8 wickets, thanks to a blistering century by Usman Khawaja.

It is difficult to think Australia could leave Khawaja - who has scores of 109 not out, 62 and 104 not out - out of their World T20 squad but he is far from a certainty to make it.

The stylish left-hander faces red hot competition for a place in the top order in the limited-overs formats. Ahead of him are the national captain and vice-captain, Steve Smith and David Warner, and the Twenty20 skipper Aaron Finch.

Khawaja lost his place in the ODI squad when Warner returned from paternity leave and was not included in the 17-man Twenty20 squad named earlier this week for the series against India. That indicates he is a fair way down the pecking order for World T20 selection.

"He's certainly got the capabilities to be able to play for Australia in those formats," Smith said.

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"It's a very tough side to break into at the moment, we're playing some very good cricket as it is, we're up 4-0 in this series, so I'm sure if he does get an opportunity he'll take it with both hands."

Khawaja would join Smith, Warner and Mitchell Starc as Australia's only three-form players if selectors reward his impressive form in the coloured clothing.

Khawaja's loss is the Sydney Thunder's gain, allowing him to spend more time in the lime green of his Big Bash franchise.

"There's some really good talent out there at the moment," Khawaja said of the national team.

"All I can do is keep doing well for my team, put my head down, score runs and hopefully the selectors will take note and choose me. If they don't, I love playing for the Thunder so it's a win-win situation."

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