Updated: January 8, 2022 12:19:24 pm
Usman Khawaja’s career has come to full circle after scoring centuries in both the innings of an Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
Make that TWO!
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 8, 2022
It was in Sydney, where the Islamabad-born Khawaja grew up after his family moved to Australia when he was a child, where the then-24-year-old made his international debut in the final Test of the 2010-11 Ashes series.
The 35-year-old made a memorable return to Australia’s Test team by smashing centuries in both the innings of the ongoing fourth Test match at Sydney. The left-handed scored a watchful 137 in the first innings and followed it up with an unbeaten 101 in the second innings.
The left-handed batter became only the sixth Australian batter to score two centuries in an Ashes Test. He has joined the elite club of Warren Bardsley (136 & 130, at Oval in 1909), Arthur Morris (122 & 124 not out at Adelaide in 1947), Steve Waugh (108 & 116 at Old Trafford in 1997), Matthew Hayden (197 & 103 at Gabba in 2002), and Steve Smith (144 & 142 at Edgebaston in 2019).
On his Test debut, exactly, 11 years ago, Khawaja batted for two hours in his maiden Test innings on an opening day. He scored just 37, but with the grace with which he made his runs in an otherwise dismal team display, the Australian fans were convinced that Ponting’s long-term successor for the No 3 spot had been found.
While Khawaja’s Test career has not been as prolific as initially anticipated, nor did he ever truly make the No 3 position his own, but the 44-Test veteran made a comeback after a two-year hiatus in a grand fashion.
Australia declared their second innings closed on 265 for 6 in the final session, handing England an unlikely victory target of 388.
Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green (74) added 179 runs for the fifth wicket.
The hosts, who have an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series, made 416-8 declared in their first innings before dismissing England for 294 earlier on Saturday.