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Usman Khawaja Describes His Marathon Innings In Dubai
By CricShots - Oct 12, 2018 12:58 pm
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The Australian opener Usman Khawaja reckons that his match-saving knock of 302-ball 141 in the first Test against Pakistan in Dubai was the toughest innings he has ever played, and a stuff of dreams. He stayed on the crease for 524 minutes in the fourth innings, helping Australia save the game from an unlikely situation on the final day.

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Tim Paine and Usman Khawaja

Talking about his knock, Khawaja said, “That was as tough as any innings as I’ve played. I was drenched. I came off the field with sweat through my shirt. My shirt was drenched and my pants were drenched. That took it out of me a fair bit. I’ve never had an innings like that.”

Chasing 462, Australia started the final day on 136 for 3, with Khawaja on 50. His brilliance, along with Travis Head’s 72 and Tim Paine’s unbeaten knock of 61, took Australia to 362 for 8 by the end of the day. Khawaja had made an impressive 85 in the first innings as well and said the key to success was to take the challenge as any other occasion.

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Describing his further, Usman said, “I was just batting like it was any other innings. I wasn’t worried about whether it was the fourth innings or whether we were trying to save a match at any stage. It was more of a mindset thing to make sure we stayed positive. I knew that if I went away from batting normally, I was more likely to get out in those conditions. Especially being a left-hander, with Yasir Shah bowling into the rough, and Bilal (Asif) had some rough, too, I knew I had to bat as I would in any situation.”

Ahead of this game, Khawaja’s ability was doubted in these conditions, having averaged less than 15 in nine previous innings in Asia. The latest century, though, was an extension of recent improvement as the batsman had also made a century for Australia A in India last month.

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Usman Khawaja

Speaking of the same, the southpaw said, “It was mostly about getting a hundred for Australia on the last day of a match, trying to save a game. I have worked my backside off for the past 10 years in first-class cricket, day in, day out. People think, because of my relaxed nature, that’s not that case, and that I’ve been gifted to be able to get to where I am, but that’s not the case at all. There is no secret to success, it is all about hard work. I was grateful to be out there playing for Australia and getting a hundred.”

Talking about the effort that went into the knock, Khawaja said the heat was difficult to handle but he ‘enjoyed’ battling it out for his country. He said he was just enjoying batting out there and enjoying getting a few partnerships with the boys and playing cricket for Australia.