Ashes 2021-22: Usman Khawaja not sure of holding Test spot despite twin centuries at SCG
Khawaja scored 137 in Australia’s first innings and backed it up with an unbeaten 101.
Updated - Jan 8, 2022 4:52 pm
Veteran Australian batter Usman Khawaja couldn’t have made a better return to Test cricket as he slammed not one but twin centuries in the ongoing fourth Ashes Test against England. Having played list last Test in Ashes 2019, the 35-year-old didn’t get an opportunity in the format for over two years. He even warmed the benches in the first three Tests of the ongoing series.
However, he took the field for the fourth game as Travis Head tested positive for COVID-19. Needless to mention, Khawaja had to make full use of the opportunity and he didn’t miss out on doing so. Batting at number five, the star batter scored 137 in Australia’s first innings and backed it up with an unbeaten 101 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Thanks to his stellar efforts, Australia set England a stern target of 388 in the ongoing clash. While Khawaja’s stupendous batting show is earning praises from different quarters, the batter is not sure about retaining his place for the final game. For the unversed, Head, who slammed a fiery ton in the opening clash, is set to be available for the fifth Test, which takes place in Hobart.
I know the selectors have made a lot of tough decisions: Usman Khawaja
As Head performed exceedingly well in the first three Tests, the team management will have a massive selection dilemma ahead of the Hobart game. Khawaja is aware of the same and is not expecting a guaranteed spot in the initial XI.
“I came in here for Travis Head, he’s had a great series and I know the selectors have made a lot of tough decisions in this series and I don’t really expect it to be any different because I scored back-to-back tons. It’s just the way it is. All I’ve done is I’ve had an opportunity for Australia, scored some runs which I am grateful for,” said Khawaja at the end of Day four’s play.
“The hunger is still there. I’ve shown that I can still score runs at this level if an opportunity does present itself in the future,” he added. Meanwhile, the team management also has an option of replacing Usman Khawaja with under-fire opener Marcus Harris to accommodate Head in the line-up.
On being asked about the same, Khawaja said: “To be totally honest, I’ve batted at number five in this Test match and it was a lot of fun. I got runs but you can’t really compare five to opening. It’s like apples and oranges. I know because I’ve done both of them.”