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Khawaja ready for fired-up NSW in final

AAP logoAAP 22/10/2016 Rob Forsaith

Sunday's one-day cup final will pit state against state and mate against mate at North Sydney Oval, where NSW will be desperate to unsettle Queensland captain Usman Khawaja.

Khawaja was based at the SCG when he made his first-class and Test debuts but has developed further as a batsman since shifting to Brisbane in 2012.

The classy left-hander, who is expected to be recalled to the Test side on Friday, will face a star-studded team made up of former colleagues, Sydney Thunder teammates and friends.

"It's always nice to play against NSW because you know they're going to come quite hard," Khawaja said.

"The Blues bowling attack is always strong but ... we've won five out of six games, we're not going to take a backwards step. If we play to our best we can beat anyone."

NSW skipper Moises Henriques couldn't resist making a subtle dig in the pre-match press conference.

"He's never been a real Queenslander," Henriques laughed.

"It's good to see him back and it'll be a great challenge playing against him on this sort of ground. He obviously makes their team a lot stronger."

National selectors will keep a keen eye on proceedings but Sheffield Shield games starting on Tuesday will have a greater bearing on their thoughts regarding the Test squad.

Khawaja is unsure whether he will be recalled, having been dumped during Australia's miserable 3-0 Test series loss to Sri Lanka in August, but insisted he wasn't stressed.

"Maybe three or four years ago, not any more. I don't worry about the future, I don't worry about the past," the 29-year-old said.

"We've got a chance to win a final here."

Henriques confirmed Josh Hazlewood will be rested, with Test offspinner Nathan Lyon shaping as his likely replacement.

"I love playing cricket with Nathan Lyon," Henriques said.

"Nathan's a world-class spinner .. he's always got good spirits in the change room and the team is always better for having him around."

Henriques was diplomatic about Hazlewood's enforced omission.

"I'm not the one setting the scheduling and managing the next six Test matches that Josh might like and need to play in, and all the ODIs throughout summer," he said.

Daniel Hughes is unlikely to feature because of the concussion he suffered on Friday night when NSW defeated Victoria in the elimination final.

Henriques quashed rumours of national skipper Steve Smith or vice-captain David Warner making a surprise return for the title holders.

"They wouldn't be bad additions. Unfortunately they're going to stick to their original plan," he said.

"They've got a big summer ahead and they're carrying a few niggles they want to rest up and get right. They'll play for us in the Shield game (that starts on Tuesday)."

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