Border Gavaskar Trophy | Scored runs a lot of times when tired and fatigued, asserts Usman Khawaja
Usman Khawaja's brilliant run of form is set to culminate into a maiden Test appearance in India|
Usman Khawaja expressed confidence ahead of the Border Gavaskar Trophy as he dismissed any concerns over fatigue impacting his performance, despite experiencing several delays en route to India. The batter also talked about his approach to the tour and why it being his debut in India was irrelevant.
India are all set to host Australia for four Tests, starting in Nagpur on February 9, as a part of the Border Gavaskar Trophy with an aim to secure the tournament for themselves for the fourth time on the trot. The two sides have a lot to play for, with a place in the World Test Championship final as well as the number one ranking in the ICC charts at stake. However, the Kangaroos would have their work cut out since they would be missing the services of Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc for at least the opening game, while others such as David Warner have complained of fatigue. Amidst all the noise, opener Usman Khawaja expressed quiet confidence ahead of the opening encounter, despite being underprepared.
The 36-year-old was scheduled to travel with the entire team to India at the start of February but visa issues postponed his departure. His eventual arrival in Asia was further plagued with adversities, including several flight delays, but Khawaja denied it having an impact on his on-field play.
"We're all tired and fatigued. Even I'm a bit tired and fatigued. We've played (two) Test series, played four Shield matches before then, played nine first-class games before Christmas, then put Big Bash in there with no time at home. Trying to get on seven different flights to get to India, then get here – we're all tired, we're all fatigued. That's just part and parcel of being a cricketer," Khawaja said to cricket.com.au.
While Khawaja would return to Australia after the Tests, the likes of Warner would stay back for the ODI series followed by the Indian Premier League and World Cup later in the year.
"Once you're on the field, it's just game on. It's the same with Davey. I've scored runs a lot of times when I have been tired and fatigued, you just have to find a way sometimes. I'm sure Davey will find a way. He better freshen up because he's got four months here," Khawaja added.
The opener was recently bestowed with CA's Shane Warne Test Player of the Year award for scoring over 1,000 runs at an average of 67.50 in 2022 before kickstarting the new year with a 195* against South Africa. However, the southpaw has never played a Test in India before despite being included in the squads on the last two tours.
"I'm a very fluid player. I say I'm more an artist than an architect, I go by feel, suss the conditions and work on the fly. I've been playing cricket for so long. I know what I'm trying to do when I get out there. Assess the conditions, and play accordingly. I haven't thought about it (not playing Tests in India). I've played a couple of ‘A’ series here. I've done pretty well, played one-dayers and in red-ball stuff here and I've done really well in both of them. "I've played against some pretty decent bowlers. India A sides always have decent pace bowlers and decent spinners who have played Test cricket. It doesn't really change too much for me. I'm at a point in my career where I go out there, play the game, enjoy the game and try to win games from a team. The rest is inconsequential," Khawaja explained.