Former England captain turned commentator Michael Vaughan says he is mighty impressed with Usman Khawaja’s gutsy 171 and believes that the real Usman Khawaja was on show in the fifth Test as he completed his maiden Ashes hundred on the third day of the Test.
Australia took a 133 runs lead on day three of the fifth Test at the SCG in Sydney courtesy a return to form century by Usman Khawaja and an unbeaten 98 by Shaun Marsh. Khawaja brought up his fifth Test ton and scored a brilliant 171 before becoming debutant Mason Crane’s maiden Test wicket. Khawaja had scored 168 runs in the six innings before the Sydney Test with two fifties to his name.
Khawaja had drawn a lot of criticism from critics and pundits for his inconsistency with the bat at the top of the order. Khawaja started day three on 91 and completed his hundred early on in the day. Vaughan who was impressed by Khawaja’s innings said:
“He is a high-class player, he’s averaging 45 in Test match cricket. He hasn’t really played with much confidence in this series but I think this was the first time we have seen the real Usman Khawaja. He’s a fine player and he has made the most of the conditions. “
“If you look at the way he has played, like Shaun Marsh in Adelaide, he set the foundation. It took him a long time to get to 20 and to 30 and had that appetite to stay out there for long periods of time. I’m sure England have had that type of appetite but, let’s be honest, they haven’t been good enough.”
Vaughan also spoke about the status of the match and said that England have been outplayed in all the departments in the final Test in Sydney. He said:
“They have the platform and the foundation to go on and make the big scores pretty much all the way down the Australia order. Cam Bancroft must be in the dressing room thinking, ‘Oh no, what have I done?’ It is a good pitch. England had stages where you felt they were going to threaten and get the wickets, particularly when the young leg-spinner (Mason Crane) was bowling to Mitchell Marsh. In these conditions, Australia have just been better throughout – with the ball, with the bat and you would say at times in the field.”
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