Australia have had a great time at ‘beautiful’ Ageas Bowl – Usman Khawaja praises host ground as World Cup warm-up preparations have been excellent 

Usman Khawaja batting for Australia against Sri Lanka at the Ageas Bowl. Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty Images
Usman Khawaja batting for Australia against Sri Lanka at the Ageas Bowl. Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty Images
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Usman Khawaja praised the Ageas Bowl facilities after Australia completed their World Cup preparations with a five-wicket win against Sri Lanka.

Australia have spent more than a week at the south coast cricket venue to ready themselves in the defence of the trophy.

In that time they beat the West Indies, England and Sri Lanka – proving once again that they will be a tough nut to crack.

Top order batsman Khawaja insists his team are ready to start and their time at the Ageas Bowl has been an important factor.

He said: ‘We are in a good place.

‘It has been beautiful here (at the Ageas Bowl) and we have really enjoyed it.

‘The weather has been great and we have got all our sessions in and been able to use a practice wicket.

‘It is a really nice ground and not little.

‘We have had a lot of fun and a few rounds of golf on some nice courses.

‘The players have had a good time and have trained hard and had fun off the field.

‘We all feel we have been well looked after.

‘Everyone has been great.

‘Every time I come to England, whether to play county cricket or with Australia it always feels so family orientated.

‘Even if you go and watch a park game or a club game you walk in and see the afternoon teas spread out.

‘It is amazing and a very cool community.

‘It just goes to show how much the English love their game.’

Khawaja showed he was supremely comfortable in his surroundings as he opened the batting with Aaron Finch.

He helped steer Australia towards Sri Lanka's total of 239 for eight. scoring 89 off 105 balls.

In doing so he staked a strong claim for one of Australia’s top order batting slots.

Earlier in the day he overcome an injury scare when he limped off the pitch after being struck on the knee fielding a mid-off.

‘It’s fine, embarrassing more than anything,’ said Khawaja.

‘It just hit the side of my knee and I couldn’t put any weight on it.

‘When I walked off I was laughing. I was in pain but I knew there was nothing serious about it.’

In-form Australia have won 13 of their past 14 matches and begin the defence of their trophy against Afghanistan at Bristol on Saturday.