Usman Khawaja might not have been a regular feature for Australia, but his form in the Big Bash League was outstanding and it even led to his inclusion in the World T20 squad. However, the left-hander was snubbed during the IPL 2016 Player Auction. None of the franchises bid for him, but that does not disturb Khawaja, who is focussed on representing the national side.
"I'm not really too fussed (on missing the IPL)," Khawaja was quoted as saying by ABC.
Apart from Khawaja, New Zealand batsmen Martin Guptill was another in-form player not to be picked by any of the eight franchises for the ninth edition of the IPL, which starts April 9.
"Never take it for granted, I've seen some really good players not get picked up. We were still playing at the time, so I wasn't trying to think about it too much. I'm playing for Australia in all three formats. I'm representing my country and that's all I can ask for," the Australian said.
Though Khawaja might have been picked by Australia for the World T20, there is no guarantee that the player will represent Kangaroos in the competition. They have some solid batsmen in the top order, which includes David Warner and Aaron Finch as established openers, and with Steve Smith, Shane Watson and Glenn Maxwell as their other key batsmen, Khawaja's inclusion looks less likely.
However, Khawaja was given a chance at the top of the order in their recently-concluded T20 series against South Africa. Keeping the T20 in mind, Australia used different opening pairs in the series, including Khawaja-Finch and Khawaja-Watson, so it remains to be seen if the left-hander gets a chance.
Even if he fails to feature for Australia in the World T20, Khawaja is aware that his time will come as there are a number of Test matches and ODIs for Australia in the near future.
"There's a lot of cricket coming up this year for Australia. A lot of one-dayers, a lot of Tests. So I've got to keep my head down, hopefully stay fit. Stay on the park and the rest will take care of itself." Khawaja said.