King Khawaja reigns supreme on Test return

1 year ago 386

When Usman Khawaja whipped the third-last shot earlier beverage disconnected his pads to bring up a century, his jubilation came with a motion to a king connected the different broadside of the planet.

But determination tin beryllium nary uncertainty whose tribunal the SCG was connected Thursday.

The 35-year-old ripped his helmet off, careened astir the tract helium erstwhile called home, and past stopped and busted retired his ain mentation of LeBron James' trademark 'silencer' celebration.

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There were plentifulness who had been silenced. Khawaja's doubters had travel successful droves, but truthful excessively were determination supporters of the erstwhile Blue turned Bull, who galore felt was passed implicit successful his vocation acold excessively often.

For them, it was saccharine vindication.

Australia declared connected 8-416 (England are 0-13 successful effect having survived a tricky 5 overs), with invaluable contributions passim the order, but this was Khawaja's time up until helium chopped 1 onto the stumps, retired for 137.

It was a sparkling innings from a superb strokemaker. It had it all: cuts, drives, playing disconnected his pads, and adjacent a mates of cheeky reverse sweeps.

Usman Khawaja busts retired LeBron James' 'silencer' solemnisation aft making a century. (Getty)

Khawaja isn't a lawsuit of a 'what if', his contributions since debuting successful 2011 spell acold beyond that. But determination was always, for immoderate reason, a cognition that helium was afforded little enactment than others successful the Australian squad erstwhile it came to retaining his spot during pugnacious times.

Following a thin Ashes bid successful England backmost successful 2019, that good could person been it for him astatine Test level.

Australia state aft monolithic total

But instead, helium continued to graft astatine Shield level, and helium recovered his mode backmost wherever helium ever knew helium belonged — albeit owed to a affirmative COVID-19 trial for Travis Head.

It's not often (or possibly ever) Pat Cummins gets booed astatine the SCG, but with Khawaja astatine the non-striker's extremity connected 99 and part-timer Dawid Malan bowling, the assemblage grew restless arsenic beverage approached and the skipper played defensively, with 3 dot balls successful a row.

Those turned to cheers arsenic Cummins whacked consecutive boundaries, but boos returned arsenic helium worked a azygous distant to clasp the onslaught for the session's past over.

Usman Khawaja celebrates aft reaching a period astatine the SCG. (Getty)

Jack Leach came successful for the past six balls earlier beverage and aft 2 guardant defences, Cummins pushed a azygous done constituent arsenic the assemblage roared.

Khawaja had 3 balls earlier the interval, but helium lone needed one.

It was a accelerated travel from fractional to afloat century, too. His archetypal 50 came from 134 deliveries, the 2nd conscionable 67.

What happens next? Travis Head volition instrumentality successful Hobart, but Khawaja had already been floated arsenic an alternate opener to Marcus Harris, who has endured a torrid bid astatine the apical of the order.

It seems inconceivable that a antheral who conscionable posted a period could find his mode retired of the broadside conscionable days later, but Khawaja said it champion earlier play connected the opening day.

"One clip you're connected apical of the world, everything's going well, and the adjacent infinitesimal you're conscionable down and out."

For the adjacent fewer days astatine least, helium tin cherish a instrumentality to the top.

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