It’s a weird feeling that Indian fans can outnumber you even in Melbourne: Usman Khawaja
Khawaja feels even at the SCG, the Indian fans fill the stadiums massively.
Updated - May 9, 2020 3:38 pm
Usman Khawaja, the left-handed batsman, talked about how fans of teams from South Asia, especially India, fill the stadiums in Australia. The southpaw said that in grounds like the MCG, more Indian supporters are being seen than that of the hosts. Khawaja was a part of the Aussie Test team when Virat Kohli’s side toured them for a four-match series in 2018-19.
The 33-year-old Khawaja reckons that getting outnumbered in India doesn’t spring a surprise, but the same happening in Australia can get a tad weird. The Pakistan-born batter also lauded the Indian crowd for being vociferous when their team dictates terms to the opposition.
“It’s definitely an advantage. I remember the last time they came over for a one-day series, the roar for India was much bigger. Especially in Melbourne, the amount of expats they have over there, they flock in,” Khawaja was quoted as saying on Fox Sports News on Saturday, May 9.
“And when India’s on top they really let you know it. It’s a really weird feeling. When you’re in India, you expect to be outnumbered massively but you can be outnumbered in Melbourne, as well as Sydney to some extent also,” he added.
They were clearly the better team last time: Usman Khawaja
Last time around, Kohli became the first Indian skipper to win a Test series on Australian soil. The visitors won the series 2-1 after victories in Adelaide and Melbourne. Khawaja admitted that Cheteshwar Pujara, the leading run-scorer in that series, was unstoppable. Moreover, he didn’t forget to appreciate India’s lethal pace attack as well.
“They were clearly the better team last time, we hung in there but (Cheteshwar) Pujara was outstanding and Kohli led from the front as a captain. Their bowling unit was as good as I’ve ever seen an Indian bowling unit, they really went toe-to-toe with our bowlers,” he added.
Later in 2019, India are again set to tour Australia for a Test series. But with the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner around, Khawaja feels that their batting unit will have more firepower.
“Our bowlers are still in great form, though, and this time Steve Smith and Davy Warner will be in the side too, so a little bit of difference in the batting line-up,” Khawaja, who was recently dropped from Australia’s centrally contracted players, added.