Khawaja has missed out on the 14-man squad to play a three-match series against the Kiwis starting February 3, while selectors have given Zampa the nod ahead of Nathan Lyon.
South Australian Zampa has been picked on the strength of his one-day domestic form and also his Twenty20 performances for Big Bash League runners-up Melbourne Stars.
Paceman Josh Hazlewood returns to the squad after being rested for the recent series against India but selectors couldn’t find room for the in-form Khawaja, who dominated the BBL with his prolific run-scoring for champions Sydney Thunder.
Chairman of selectors Rod Marsh says Zampa’s selection ahead of Lyon was double-pronged – to get a look at the emerging legspinner, and also give Lyon a four-day match to prepare for the two-Test series against NZ.
“We want Nathan to use the NSW versus West Australia Sheffield Shield match in New Zealand as preparation for the Test series,” Marsh said on Monday in a statement.
“And this will give us a chance to have a good look at Adam ahead of the World T20 (starting March in India).
“Adam has certainly put forward a strong case for selection through good performances in the Big Bash as well as the Matador Cup earlier in the season and we think he has thoroughly earned this opportunity.”
Australia play three ODIs against the Kiwis, in Auckland on February 3, Wellington on February 6 and Hamilton on February 8 ahead of the two-Test series starting February 12.
Usman Khawaja’s past dozen innings
70 (Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Stars, BBL final, Jan 24)
104no (Sydney Thunder v Adelaide Strikers, BBL semi-final, Jan 21)
62 (Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Renegages, BBL, Jan 11)
144, 56 (Australia v West Indies, 2nd Test, Dec 26-30)
109no (Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Stars, BBL, Dec 20)
121 (Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Nov 13-17)
174no, 9 (Australia v New Zealand, 1st Test, Nov 5-9)
21, 11 (Queensland v Victoria, Sheffield Shield, Oct 28-31)
111no (Cricket Australia XI v New Zealand, Oct 24)
Overall in past dozen innings: 992 runs at average of 124
Local News Matters
Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help InDaily continue to uncover the facts.