Legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne has addressed the Australia top-order batsman Usman Khawaja, who is concurrently participating in the Ashes 2017-18 campaign and so far struggled to score big against England.
“We know he’s a good player but this is not good enough. He needs to be better than that,” Warne was quoted as saying by World Wide of Sports.
As Warne felt the number three position has an imperative role to play across formats and he has the belief in Khawaja for having the potential to stick to the work.
“He has had a good career. Maybe it’s just his form his down, but for me, he’s lacking some serious presence as a No.3,” Warne asserted.
The 31-year-old left-handed batsman Khawaja smashed two fifties in his five outings so far in the Magellan Ashes series and the 48-year-old ace spinner Warne believes the promising batsman has gone down the slide while observing the game of the Islamabad-born cricketer in the Test fold.
“At times there he’s made some wonderful hundreds, but the downside to him is I think he lacks a bit of intensity, lacks a bit of energy, and he’s not busy enough,” Warne said.
The Victorian-based Warne wants Khawaja to play with a lot of energy and enthusiasm and show positive intent while aiming to play the longer innings.
“We know he’s got the talent, it’s more his body language and his intensity when he comes to the crease. Have a presence, he’s lacking that at the moment,” Warne added.
It’s pertinent to mention that, Warne’s comments came when Khawaja was dismissed by Stuart Broad on 17 after facing 65 balls.
Warne reiterated Khawaja is supposed to spend quality time at the crease to excel in the longer version of the game.
“He can’t just stand there, block the ball and not have anything else happening. For me he’s got to be a bit more busy,” Warne remarked.
On the Boxing Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Khawaja edged the ball which saw gloveman Jonny Bairstow complete a regulation catch. However, Warne remarked the former had been a great find for Australia but of late has failed to deliver in home conditions which simultaneously saw the left-handed batsman was struggling against the spin attack.
Khawaja smashed two boundaries in his innings after registering just four runs in first 47 deliveries, and that score was comprised of a couple and three singles.
In 2015, Khawaja had a stellar run in six Test fixtures in which further saw him smashing four tons while facing the opponents at home.
Moreover, after the mixed start in his career which kicked off in January 2011 against England at Sydney, Khawaja has been cherishing his batting while featuring in the backyard.
“We all thought ‘here we go we’ve got a No.3 who’s going to be consistent, he can take the game away from the opposition and allow Steve Smith and the middle order a lot more protection,” Warne reminisced about Khawaja’s past campaign while having a decent record at home.
In 17 Tests in Australia, Khawaja scored 1,362 runs at an average of 56.75. He has four centuries under his belt at home which further includes eight fifties.
In 47 Test innings of 28 Matches, Khawaja scored 1,879 runs at an average of 43.69. He smashed five-hundred and ten fifties.