Usman Khawaja, the Australian opener, achieved redemption in English conditions by scoring a remarkable century in the first innings of the opening Ashes Test at Edgbaston. With a score of 141, he almost matched England’s first innings total of 393/8d. Prior to the Ashes 2023, Khawaja had struggled in England, averaging just above 17 in 14 innings. Nonetheless, he turned the tables in the first Test and continued his impressive form in Test cricket since 2021. Reflecting on his resurgence, Khawaja admitted that he had believed his career was over when he was dropped from the Test team in 2019.
“Honestly, I thought that after 44 Test matches, my career was done. I was very content and happy. Most people don’t get to play 44 Test matches. Scored 8 hundreds, been a part of Ashes-winning teams, and lots of winning teams. So when I got an opportunity to play again, honestly every Test feels like a bonus. Nothing lasts forever, so I am enjoying the ride,”
Khawaja was dropped from Test squad after 2019 Ashes
Following his omission from the Test team after the 2019 Ashes, Khawaja staged a remarkable comeback during the 2021-22 Ashes series, where he scored two centuries. Since then, he has been in outstanding form, accumulating over 1500 runs with an average of above 60. Discussing his approach to the game, Khawaja emphasized the significance of mental state over technique in determining a batsman’s performance.
“Majority of things that happen as a batter are in your head. Very few times it might be technical. For me, I was probably in the best spot ever coming into England. I know this is probably going to be my last tour,”
Australia, after being bowled out for 386 runs on Day 3, managed to bounce back by quickly dismissing England’s openers, Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley, for low scores. England were struggling at 28/2 after 10 overs when rain interrupted play.
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