Usman Khawaja, Australia Vs England, Sydney, Fifth Test,
Usman Khawaja improving his way. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The top-order batsman Usman Khawaja, who has enjoyed his batting thoroughly at home, has further silenced his critics with the maiden Ashes Test ton after smashing 171 in the dead rubber at Sydney on Saturday while adding he is looking forward to collecting runs.

“I love to play for Australia in every Test match … obviously, it hasn’t gone that way over the last year but all I can do is go out and score runs … and not look too far ahead,” Khawaja said during the post-day press conference.

Pertinently, Khawaja has further strengthened his case at the top after struggling to score against spinner in particular.

Usman Khawaja, Australia Vs England, Sydney, Fifth Test,
Usman Khawaja wants to continue to score runs for Australia. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Moreover, the 31-year-old batsman Khawaja was criticized for his timid approach in the past.

“It’s disappointing to hear because when I am scoring runs I’m elegant, and when I’m not I’m lazy,” said Khawaja,” Khawaja explained.

Adamant in his approach Khawaja further admitted the fact by saw the constructive criticism has come of good help for him to score runs while batting at crucial number three position.

“Sometimes the game feels really simple and easy and other times it’s a grind. That’s the way it’s,” Usman reiterated.

Way back in 2011, it was the same SCG venue where Khawaja made his Test debut to score 31 in the first innings and 21 in the second innings respectively against the then Andrew Strauss-led England.

“The SCG was where I grew up playing cricket for NSW and an Ashes century is something I wanted for a long time and hadn’t been able to achieve. So it’s really satisfying. It’s awesome,” Khawaja maintained.

Usman Khawaja, Australia Vs England, Sydney, Fifth Test,
Usman Khawaja struck 18 boundaries in his knock of 171. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

However, learning from his past mistakes, Khawaja has shown pure aggression against the slow bowlers which further saw him cherishing his overall sixth Test hundred while playing his 29th Test match.

“I can’t seem to win when things aren’t going well. I’ve had that my whole career. It’s not like I’m going out there and not trying,” Usman added.

Scoring at the average of 42.95 in Test cricket, Khawaja has further praised the efforts of skipper Steven Smith as a leader while adding one is supposed to cherish such moments during the game.

“It’s elation. You don’t get to celebrate Test centuries too much unless you’re Steve Smith so you’ve got to enjoy them when they come,” Khawaja asserted.

Khawaja has also hailed the efforts of his mother, Fozia while reflected she had been his true supporter through thick and the think, and he has the aim to make his family proud and fiance Rachel McLellan.

“My mum and Rachel were sitting in a little box section. (She) always supported me. She’s someone I could lean on through all the good and bad times and Rachel is exactly the same. I knew they were up there and I was paying tribute to them,” Khawaja said.

Usman Khawaja, Australia Vs England, Sydney, Fifth Test,
Usman Khawaja has shown quality control while facing spinners. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

There’s no doubt that Khawaja has produced impressive knock of the summer so far after facing the wrath from cricket pundits and some former Australia cricketers which further saw the New South Wales-based player was struggling to score runs, but the batsman has a look to prove to cement his all-important spot particularly in the Test fold.

“I’ve had a lot of good innings at the SCG when I used to play here (for NSW) on similar turning wickets,” Khawaja maintained.

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Tahir Ibn Manzoor

Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Cricket Addictor, who follows cricket like food and he has a great affection for the long-form journalism. He Tweets @TahirIbnManzoor