Usman Khawaja questions Steve Smith form, criticise selectors
The Australian left handed top order batsman, Usman Khawaja, has questioned the form of their disturbed captain Steve Smith and have challenged the selectors decision to drop him and Joe Burns on Australia’s disastrous Test series against Sri Lanka played in the month of July/August this year, “It was disappointing that Joe Burns and I were sorts of the scapegoats for not performing,” Khawaja told Fairfax on Saturday (October 22). “I just thought that I’d only played two Test matches in the subcontinent and I got dropped. I wasn’t the only person who wasn’t scoring runs. There was only one other person who scored a 50 in the first two Test matches at that time and that was Steve Smith,” he adds.
Steve Smith was back in form for the third ODI and scored a century in the very next game but couldn’t lift his team as a whole, as a result, Australia lost the last encounter as well leading to a whitewash on Lankan soil.
Khawaja, who made his comeback to the Test squad last year after a brief break of two years, had a perfect homecoming as he registered a total of 4 centuries in 6 Test matches before this Test series. The Australian team had big hopes on him but he disappointed scoring just 55 runs in 4 innings, “I only had two bad Test matches on tough wickets (in Sri Lanka), I found it pretty fickle that the selectors dropped me for the third one. It was disappointing how that panned out. But I guess there’re some things you don’t have control over,” he says.
Australian woes on Asian pitches are not new as they have always struggled to get going on these pitches. Usman Khawaja has always had rough sub-continent memories as he was one of the members who was suspended by team management on India tour 2013 for not completing the ‘Homework’ given by their then coach Mickey Arthur.
At last, he was seen protecting his team for a whitewash which they suffered in South Africa and said “The Test team is different from the one-day team,” he said. “Our Test bowlers weren’t there either. So I don’t think so.”
The Australian team is ready for its news assignment against South Africa which consists of 3 Test matches against the visitors starting from November 3. The third and final Test match of the series will be the pink-ball Test match that will be played under lights and will be a day/night fixture.
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