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Ashes 2017: Usman Khawaja living the dream after fluent 171 in Sydney

first_imgUsman Khawaja’s eloquent 381-ball 171 effort in the fifth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday meant that he fulfilled his dream finally and in some style.In 2011 at the SCG, with the hosts heading for an innings defeat and 3-1 Ashes series loss, his elegant strokes were a light in a very dark sky for Australia.He has always been reminded of his 37 that day and honestly not been able to live up to the high expectations aroused by that innings but on Friday and Saturday, he was a batsman, who was enjoying his time out there and looking in complete control. His ton and important partnerships with Steve Smith and Shaun Marsh put the hosts on top as they look to win the series 4-0.But, you could see what it meant to the Sydney boy…a hundred in front of his family and the home support.WATCHThe fist pumped the air and he celebrated with a rare display of emotion — giving everyone an idea, what it meant to the 31-year-old.”I’ve said a few times, that 37 was a bit embarrassing. There was a lot of carry on for a 37,” the quietly spoken southpaw recalled.”Playing in the Ashes was a dream. Did that. Winning an Ashes was a dream. We won. Scoring a hundred in the Ashes has always been something I always wanted to do. I’ve done that now too.”A great response from the SCG crowd as Usman Khawaja brought up his ton this morning! #MastercardMoment#Ashes @MastercardAU pic.twitter.com/nTlzswezjmadvertisement- cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) January 6, 2018Test cricket has not always been kind to the left-hander, who has been dropped and recalled from the team several times with questions raised over his ability to play spin and his work ethic.Test cricket has been testing for him, sometimes dropped, then recalled and several times questions raised over his abilities. While captain Steve Smith played his fifth Test that January day in 2011 and has now racked up 61, Khawaja has managed less than half that number. But he said that he has mixed feelings about it but that’s how it is.”It’s disappointing,” Khawaja said of the criticism. “When I am scoring runs, I’m elegant and when I’m not scoring runs I’m lazy. I can’t seem to win, when things aren’t going well.”It’s disappointing to hear but it’s something I have dealt with throughout my career. When I play nothing really changes for me. I go out there and try and score runs every single time.”Sometimes the game feels really simple and easy and other times it is a bit of a grind. That’s the way it is.”Early contender for Shot of the Day from Usman Khawaja! https://t.co/vhFwlbdpM8 #Ashes pic.twitter.com/SvznxfgKCh- cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) January 6, 2018A move to Queensland couple of years ago helped revive his international career but it was still particularly pleasurable to finally get a Test hundred in front of his family and friends in Sydney.A move away from New South Wales to Queensland certainly helped him revive his international career but getting a Test hundred at the SCG is a different feeling altogether for him.”The SCG was where I grew up playing cricket for New South Wales and an Ashes century is something I have wanted for a long time and I haven’t been able to achieve, so it was very satisfying,” he said.CENTURY! There it is! Usman Khawaja brings up his sixth Test ton and his first in the #Ashes! pic.twitter.com/yiI6TXKKnX- cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) January 5, 2018As for the future, Khawaja is hoping to continue scoring runs to secure his place in the test side, both at home and abroad.”I love playing for Australia every single test match, every chance I get,” he said.”All I can do is try and go out there and score runs for my team and do well in the top order.”I like to be playing every single game, but you can’t look too far ahead either.”(With inputs from Reuters)ALSO WATCH:last_img read more

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