Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting had immense praises for the southpaw Usman Khawaja, who pulled off a one-handed stunner to dismiss Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Day 1 of the opening Test in Adelaide on Thursday (December 6).
Talking about the same to cricket.com.au., Ricky said, “It’s a great catch because of how much he’s moved to his weak side. But when you add on the fact that it’s Virat Kohli in the first innings of the first Test of the summer, that makes it an even better catch.
While standing at gully, Khawaja dived towards his left side after Kohli edged Pat Cummins’ full-length delivery while going for the big drive. Khawaja managed to stick out his left hand at the right time and completed an absolute stunner.
Here is the vide of the dismissal:
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 6, 2018
Khawaja, an enthusiastic basketball fan, had earlier revealed about how LeBron James inspired him to lose some weight and be fitter. Ponting was Australia’s captain when the southpaw was first called into the Test squad in 2010 and he feels the Queenslander has made a lot of improvement in his fielding standards, which wasn’t quite his forte when he first burst into the scene.
Describing the same, Ponting said, “I’m on record as saying that when he first came into the side years ago, it was almost an aspect of his game that he hadn’t worked on much. He’d obviously always been a gun batsman as a junior and probably never focused as much on his fielding as he needed to … that’s certainly the way it looked. And I think that shows with his batting (and) the way he applies himself as well. The reason you do all your training and all your hard work before the game is just in case a moment like that comes.”
Australia were brilliant on the field on the opening day of the Test match. They grabbed most of the possible chances, and Cummins’ sensational run out of centurion Cheteshwar Pujara on the brink of Day 1 was one of the other major highlights.
The Australian Head coach Justin Langer has been pretty vocal about the fitness requirements and Ponting couldn’t agree more.
Langer added, “I know those guys were given some pretty clear direction on the way they needed to present themselves at the start of the summer. These guys are highly paid professional athletes and when you have days like this (on Thursday) when it’s 39 degrees, it’s obviously going to be easier getting around when you’re 10 kilos lighter. It helps preserve your energy, but also mentally it’s obviously going to make things easier. Full credit to those guys, they’ve obviously put in the work and it’s started to pay off for them.”