The Ashes 2023 has begun and the media is already talking about the clash between the two giants from the 1st Test. Primarily, Usman Khawaja made headlines with his brilliant performance at Edgbaston. Khawaja is known for his patience and temperament at the crease.
He has the ability to occupy the crease for long periods and build substantial innings. Khawaja understands the importance of playing patiently, waiting for the right opportunities to score runs and not getting flustered by tight bowling spells. The same was witnessed in the first game.
Khawaja is particularly adept at playing spin bowling. His excellent footwork and strong technique enable him to negotiate spinners effectively. He has shown the ability to play both off-spin and wrist spin with confidence and authority. His solid defence is one of his key strengths. He has a tight technique and the ability to leave the ball well, which allows him to survive challenging periods and nullify the opposition’s bowling attack.
Khawaja’s defensive skills make him a reliable and resilient batsman. He has also shown the ability to adapt to different playing conditions around the world. He has scored runs in a variety of conditions, including spin-friendly pitches in Asia and seaming conditions in England. Khawaja’s adaptability allows him to adjust his game according to the demands of the situation and the playing surface.
Usman played a scintillating inning in the first match as Australia started batting. Khawaja scored 141 runs in 321 balls at a strike rate of 43.93. As David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne lost their wickets at an early stage, Khawaja’s innings provided stability to the Australian squad. Here is the list of three records which Usman Khawaja broke during his stint in the first inning.
1) Second Australian to bat more than 500 balls in a Test
Usman Khawaja is known to play with patience and build longer innings while being on the field. He takes his own time to settle while scoring runs at a slow pace. During the first Test of the Ashes, Usman Khawaja became the second Australian batsman to face a total of 518 balls. He faced 321 balls in the first inning and 197 in the second inning. Before him, Kim Hughes was the first one to achieve the fleet in the 1980 Ashes series for Australia. Khawaja also became came shoulder to shoulder with Ricky Ponting as both players have faced more than 500 balls in a single Test fixture.
2) Completed 1000 Test runs against England
Australia and England are arch-rivals when it comes to the red-ball format of the game. Usman Khawaja took that into account every time he face English bowlers. In the first Test, Usman completed 1000 Test runs against England. Before the first test, Usman Khawaja played 15 matches against England in which he scored 882 runs at an average of 47.62. His 141 in the first inning of the match helped him to reach one of the biggest milestones of his career in the Test format. He became the third Australian player to score more than 1000 runs against England.
3) Second Australian opener to hit fifty and a century in a Test in England
Usman Khawaja displayed his skills from the first ball in the first Test. He scored a century in the first inning and in the second inning, Khawaja scored a half-century and helped to stabilize the Australian inning. With his century and a half-century, Usman became the second Australian player to achieve that fleet. Former Australian captain Mark Taylor is the first Australian batsman to achieve the fleet against England.