Usman Khawaja feels current Australia side will be remembered as great if they conquer three major challenges this year
Jan 27, 2023
Melbourne [Australia], January 27 : Australian batter Usman Khawaja feels that the current Aussie set-up will be remembered as really great if they three major challenges coming their way in coming months, that is the series against India in subcontinent conditions, the ICC World Test Championship final and finally, the prestigious Ashes series against England.
The batter also said that the current Australian team is the "best team he has been a part of".
The squad will be flying to India next week for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which will be starting from February 9 onwards. Australia has not won in India since 2004-05 and the side will be looking forward to what is dubbed as the 'Final Frontier'. This will be most likely be followed by the WTC final in early June and later in the Ashes, the Aussies will be looking to retain the urn and win the series in England for the first time since 2001.
With all these heavy assignments lined up, Khawaja is a key part of the side. He had a prolific 2022 and scored 1,080 runs in 11 matches at an average of 67.50 with four tons and five fifties and a career-best of 195.
"100 per cent, definitely," Khawaja said as quoted by ESPNCricinfo when asked if the side would be worthy of the great tag should they collect the three trophies on offer.
"But win, lose or draw, we have played some amazing cricket. We are the world No. 1 team at the moment, have been for last year, we have got some terrific players in this team. [We have got] one of the best Test cricket batsmen I have seen, Steve Smith, and got some amazing bowlers, too."
"Personally, it is probably the best team I have been a part of because even when I came into the side we were sort of in transition. We had some great players, [and] some new players in between, so it is just really nice to be in a team where everyone trusts each other and looking forward to what will happen over the next six months," added the batter.
Khawaja was the part of 2013 and 2017 tours to India, but he has not played a Test in the country yet. Back in 2013, he was one of four players suspended for the "homework gate", where they did not return an assignment ordered by then-coach Mickey Arthur.
The batter is now a complete player, especially of spin, which prevails in Indian conditions. He is also more comfortable in the set-up and has his eyes on the series. Due to this, he tailored his preparations during the home summer keeping the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in mind.
"We have always got one eye on future tours, no matter what," he said.
"We do take it one tour at a time but you have to have one eye on the tour, especially if you are going from here to India with very different conditions."
"Even the way I have been practicing, I have been practicing for these [home] games here but when I feel I have ticked that off I go and do stuff I feel I need to for the next two months. I know there are a lot of other guys who are similar, just comes from maturity. A lot of us are pretty old now, we have been around for a while now, with that maturity we understand you need to have one eye ahead," concluded Khawaja.
Some the 18-players of the squad for Indian series will be attending a camp in Sydney while others, which also include Khawaja, will continue to represent their Big Bash League (BBL) sides in the final phase of the tournament.