Khawaja slips comfortably into test clothes on a ‘fantastic’ day

Khawaja records the return of the test with a sparkling horn

In the context of a thoughtful post-play media interaction as long as it was lengthy, Stewart Broad reflected on the different feelings he felt upon being left out of the England squad for the first Vodafone Ashes test and how it compared to a similar scenario he faced at the start of summer 2020.

At Gabba last month, when confronted by one of his seamstresses at a court that ranks him alongside Trent Bridge Wanderers in Johannesburg as his favorite bowling ground, he admitted he was upset but realized the decision due to injury had kept him out of action for months prior.

At Southampton in 2020, when he was notified that he had been left out of the starting line-up for England’s test against the West Indies after returning from the previous round in South Africa as his team captain, he was completely upset about it. different reason.

Flawless Khwaja delights SCG, Brood takes five

“I felt the shirt belonged to me,” Broad said tonight of the England kit which was fit to wear against the West Indies but was denied the opportunity due to selection politics.

As they run on different ends of the Australia men’s team fashion streak, Osman Khawaja would never admit to wearing a Travis Head jersey.

But the same principle will apply when the selectors finish their lineup for the fifth and final Vodafone Test at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena starting next Friday.

Assuming full fitness and in accordance with Captain Pat Cummins’ pre-match guarantee, the Chief will return after coming out of a Sydney test with a positive COVID-19 test and Khawaja will resume his duties, run out of his reserve batting gloves and assist with field play prior to playing drills.

He may have just played the most special role in his 11-year test career and enjoyed the most beautiful day he ever celebrated as a professional cricketer, but Khawaja understands better than ever how the system works.

After all, he was one of the beneficiaries of the “last in, first out” selection slogan in 2015.

That’s when, after scoring for hundreds in a row against New Zealand only to strain his hamstrings in the process, he was replaced by Shawn Marsh who kicked off his career 182 against the West Indies in Hobart and was immediately dropped in the next match when Khwaja recovered.

“I knew it was one match in the series,” Khawaja said this evening of his likely short-lived return to the pilot outfit.

“Heidi will be back for the next match, he will be fit, I will replace him.

Once again with great fanfare: Khwaja SCG delighted by the ton

“I understand the process and I am not against that process either.

“We are winning, we are playing really well.

“In my opinion, this series will probably be one match and then move on.

“At the end of the day, I just wanted to contribute.

“I wasn’t thinking a hundred… ‘Just see if you can contribute to the win here, that’s all you’ll get back in the team for.'”

When Khawaja scored his previous test score, against Sri Lanka in Canberra in early 2019, it came against an entirely different background.

He missed the start of that summer with a knee injury, then struggled with a tough off-pitch problem that took a heavy toll on his family and was even commented on the field over his poor place in the Australia group by the Sri Lankan wicketkeeper. , Niroshan Dikwila.

Dickwella was loudly calling out to his teammates before turning his focus to Australia’s Ashes Tour to the UK later that year: “No running under his belt, no running under his belt.”

“I really hope you get some running around here… I don’t want you to feel bad after watching your team play on TV.”

Khawaja made rounds – 101 of them before captain Tim Payne announced the second round of Australia would be closed.

But the world closed down again at the start of the Ashes campaign when the left-hander scored scores of 13, 40, 36, 2, 8 and 23 before losing his place to Marnus Labuschagne.

Perhaps that was where the 35-year-old’s Test ride would have ended, had it not been for the innate competition now neatly hidden under an irresistible exterior, and long-known recognition as one of the game’s purest striking talents.

But it’s not just aesthetics that has bested Khawaja’s “returning favorite son” status among the SCG crowd over the past couple of days, as he has been embraced by the city where his parents still live and who has proudly become a Sydney Thunder Foundation “member” of the KFC BBL.

Among the sporting NSW fraternity that often refers to Queenslanders as “reed frogs”, Khawaja believes his story as a child of an immigrant family who himself moved between states in search of opportunities resonated.

“I joke with the boys about my past and where I come from, we talk about the American dream and I call it the Australian dream but I’m very serious,” he said today.

“I am living the Australian dream, my parents came here from Pakistan to give our family a better life.

“I represent Australia in our national sport, which is something I absolutely love to do.

“I’ve been through a lot of hard times, I’ve broken a lot of barriers to get to where I am now and I think on some level, people can handle that.”

Khawaja admits he was nervous before the test started, and more so when he headed into the crease late on the first day after Australia lost Marcus Harris and Lapuchigne’s wickets in successive times.

However, as someone who prides himself on being calm under the most pressure, he believes the concern was largely based on his absence from competitive cricket for a month as he sat on the sidelines with the Test team.

And he was worried that it might take a while to rediscover the “rhythm” of the game in the middle.

But those fleeting doubts were faded by the genuine warmth of applause he received upon his return to the testing grounds after two and a half years on the periphery, a reception that grew in size and violence with every limit recorded and every milestone crossing in his line. The road to the ninth century match test.

“Honestly, perhaps the most touching, amazing and humble feeling today was getting that hundred,” Khawaja said of the moment his pregnant wife Rachel and the couple’s 18-month-old daughter, Aisha, experienced.

The roars that went up, were chanting ‘Uzi’ as I came from the field.

“It’s the stuff you dream about, and I never expected to have it.

“It usually happens to bowlers, and batsmen don’t usually get that kind of treatment.

“So getting that was unbelievable.”

It also ensures that the shirt remains his, whenever the opportunity dictates.

Vodafone ash for men

the difference

Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (capital), Scott Boland, Alex Curry, Cameron Greene, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuchagin, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Nick Madinson, Michael Neisser, J. Richardson, Mitchell Stark, Mitchell Sweepson, David Warner

England: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Birstow, Dom Pace, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Gus Butler, Zach Crowley, Haseeb Hamid, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, David Malan, Craig Overton, Ole Pop, Olly Robinson, Ben Stokes Chris Woks, Mark Wood

a program

First test: Australia won 9 wickets

The second test: Australia won by 275 points

The third test: Australia won innings and 14 rounds

Fourth test: January 5-9, SCG

Fifth test: January 14-18, Blundstone Arena

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