«I love Canberra. Manuka is a beautiful cricket ground, the outfield is lightning, and the wicket was really good when we played last week, I really enjoyed it,» Khawaja said.
«But it’s a new game, different format, for me it’s just about coming in for Thunder and hopefully contributing. T20 is very different to red ball cricket, so hopefully I can get back into the swing of things.
«All we can do is try to win the game and worry about finals later because if we don’t win the game we’re out anyway, so it’s a pretty simple equation for us.»
A form slump before his century last week drew Khawaja some criticism, but he bounced back just in time to be named in the Australia one-day squad on Thursday.
The 32-year-old is confident in his game and that Australia can defend the World Cup later this year, despite losing their most recent ODI series against India last month.
«As long as you’re doing the right things and worrying about what your team needs from you, personally I only care what my teammates say and what they expect from me…. the rest isn’t important,» Khawaja said.
«We played some really good cricket in the last ODI series. We could have won that series, but we let bits and pieces go where we didn’t quite nail the game.
«I thought we played quite well and the team did really well, I feel like we’re moving in the right direction. The World Cup is one of those places where you just have to be performing at the right time.»
Thunder batsman Jason Sangha hit a match-winning 63 not out on debut at Manuka earlier this season, and the 19-year-old said he couldn’t wait to get back out there.
«Especially after Uzzie got that nice 100, even Kurtis as well, two Thunder guys that know what the pitch is doing is always going to be pretty good for us,» Sangha said.
«I’ve been very lucky at Manuka now with the ACT second XI team and a Sheffield Shield game earlier this year and our first Big Bash game as well.
«It’s a pretty good batting wicket so for someone like me, a batsman; I love playing here. I’m looking forward to Saturday night.
«It’s definitely been a whirlwind summer and being my first year as well in the Big Bash it’s been a really good experience.
«Just playing so much cricket and I’ve learnt so much from guys like Joe [Root] and Jos [Butler] and Anton [Devcich] and Chris Jordan.
«Then getting the Aussie guys back is a massive bonus, so for me, it’s been a great learning experience this whole campaign.»
BIG BASH LEAGUE
Saturday: Sydney Thunder v Hobart Hurricanes at Manuka Oval, 6.15pm.
Eamonn Tiernan is a sports reporter with The Canberra Times