Usman Khawaja in a happy space but unwilling to take anything for grantedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/india-vs-australia-5th-odi-usman-khawaja-5625660/

Usman Khawaja in a happy space but unwilling to take anything for granted

Stepping out to Jasprit Bumrah and bringing out the reverse sweeps to the spinners were some of the shots by Usman Khawaja that surprised everyone. But this has been a work in progress for him.

Australian batsman Usman Khawaja raises his bat after scoring his century during the 5th ODI cricket match against India, at Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium in New Delhi
Usman Khawaja top-scored in the five match ODI series in India with 383 runs. (Source: PTI)

Usman Khawaja starred yet again with a fantastic hundred as Australia sealed a comeback series win over India in New Delhi on Wednesday. Khawaja scored an elegant 100 (off 102 balls) to steer Australia to 272/9 before the bowlers did a good finishing job.

Expressing satisfaction over the performance of his side, Khawaja said, “It is a huge achievement to win a series in India. It is a tough place to come and play cricket. To come back from 2-0 down and then win the series is a great feeling. Even when we lost the first two games there was a lot of good vibes and we were all having fun outside of it. Everyone really gelled well together to get the result we wanted.”

Khawaja emerged as the highest run-getter after five matches (383) and was adjudged as the Man of the Series. However, the southpaw is unwilling to take anything for granted.

“The feeling good but never take an anything for granted. To be honest I am enjoying the wins. It hurts when you score runs but the team doesn’t win,” he said before adding, “From the personal point of view it is huge, to be the man of the series. I wasn’t in the ODI side this time last year. Really satisfying that I could contribute and take my side to victory.”

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Some of the shots he played oozed confidence. Stepping out to Jasprit Bumrah and bringing out the reverse sweeps to the spinners certainly took everyone by surprise. But this has been a work in progress for Khawaja.

“Being in these conditions helped us a lot. Playing in Dubai, playing an India A series, just being around these conditions have helped us a team. There are things that I have worked on. I did use the sweeps and reverse sweeps in the Test tour to UAE. Just assess the wicket then play shots according to it. It’s that simple.”

Australia has peaked at the right time with the World Cup just around two months away. But the 31-year-old was unwilling to attach the tag of favourites to Australia’s chances at the event.

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“For us at the moment it is important to not look too far ahead. There is a series against Pakistan coming up. Love to come out and win that series. Lots of time for the World Cup. For now, we need to put our head down, keep working hard and everything else will take of itself.”

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