After scoring a brilliant century at a crucial stage for his team in the ongoing fourth Ashes Test, Usman Khawaja has stated that he is living the Australian dream. Khawaja replaced Travis Head in Australia playing XI for the Sydney Test as the latter is undergoing a seven-day isolation period.
After winning the toss in the fourth Ashes Test, Australia chose to bat first, and Usman Khawaja's ninth test century lifted the hosts to 416/8 before declaring the innings. Khawaja, who is playing his first Test match since 2019, replaced Travis Head in Australia playing XI for the pink-ball fixture in Sydney as the latter is undergoing a seven-day covid isolation period.
Khwaja anchored the Australia batting innings, and stitched up a crucial 115-run stand along with Steve Smith (67). The left-hand batsman scored a brilliant century on his Test return after two years, and dominated the England bowlers throughout the first innings. Khawaja notched up 137 runs from 260 balls with 13 boundaries to put Australia in a commanding position. Khawaja's ninth Test century came four years after his knock of 171 runs against England at the same venue.
Reflecting on his stellar performance in the Sydney Test, Khawaja reckoned that he is living the Australian dream. The southpaw further added that it was an amazing feeling after scoring the hundred in front of a cheering crowd.
“It was probably the most touching, humbling, and amazing feeling after getting that hundred. Everyone (in the crowd) went up and there were chants of Uzi as I was coming off the field. I never expected it to happen,” Khawaja said at the press conference.“It usually happens to bowlers, batters don’t usually get that kind of treatment. So, to have that was unbelievable,” he added.
“I joke around the boys about my past and where I have come from. We talk about the American dream. I call this the Australian team. I joke about it but I am very serious. I am living the Australian dream. My parents came here from Pakistan to give me a better life. Now, I am representing Australia in our national sport, something which I have loved doing,” said Khawaja.
“I have gone a lot through hard times, broke down many barriers to get to where I am right now. I think, at some level, people can relate to that. The love which I have got here today is something special, something I will never forget,” he further added.
However, despite scoring a crucial hundred for his team in the first innings of the Sydney Test, Khawaja is not expecting to play the final fixture of the five-match series as Head will be available for the Hobart Test.
"I knew it was one game for the series. Heady's going to be back next game, he's going to be fit. I'm replacing him," Khawaja said.