SYDNEY: Australian opener Usman Khawaja has revealed that David Warner himself was surprised on being declared the 'Player of the Series' ahead of Travis Head and skipper Pat Cummins following the 2-0 Test win against South Africa at home.
Australia defeated the Proteas in the three-match series with the final Test at Sydney ending in a draw after bad weather played spoilsport on all days except one.
While Warner scored a double century in the second Test at MCG, which the hosts won by an innings and 182 runs, the veteran batter didn't do anything of note in the other two games.
''Davey (Warner) came out and said that it was an absolute joke. It's just one of those things,'' Khawaja said on SEN Radio. ''Davey had an amazing game last week, he got 200 and South Africa didn't get 200 in the first innings and just got to 200 in the second innings. A small series like that, it was hard to give someone the player of the series. Even he (Warner) was taking the mickey out of himself,'' added Khawaja.
On the other hand, Head, while finishing the series with the same batting statistics as the 36-year-old Warner -- 213 runs at an average of 53.25 -- had scores of 92, 0, 51 and 70 from just four knocks.
Test skipper Cummins took seven wickets in the first Test at Brisbane, which the hosts won by six wickets, and also had figures of 3/60 in the first innings of the drawn third Test at SCG.
Khawaja, himself smashed an unbeaten 195 before Australia declared their first innings on 475 in the third Test.
Former Australian quick Simon O'Donnell too felt Head would have been a better choice because of the way he scored, coming in to bat during a difficult situation in the first Test.
Head scored 92 in the first innings when the entire top order, including Warner (0), Khawaja (11) and Marnus Labuschagne (11), was back in the dressing room. He also scored a half-century in the first innings of the second Test at MCG.
''I think there was (a clear choice),'' O'Donnell said.
''Travis Head, (he scored at) a run a ball, two of his innings were crucial. He changed the momentum of the way Australia were batting (in the first Test).
''I dispute that they were all equal, I think Travis Head was well ahead of the other two (Warner and Cummins),'' he added.