Home » “This current Australian team is as good……”: Aussie batter Usman Khawaja

“This current Australian team is as good……”: Aussie batter Usman Khawaja

Melbourne [Australia], May 20 : Australian batter Usman Khawaja said that the current Australian team is as good as any other team that has represented the country in its cricketing history and called the team as one of the strongest he has played in.

Last year, Australia secured the ICC World Test Championship for the first time, beating India in the finals by 209 runs in the final in the UK in June. Khawaja had a crucial role in Australia’s WTC title win, scoring 1,210 runs in 13 Tests and 24 innings at an average of 52.60, with three centuries and six fifties in 2023. His best score was 195.

In the 2021-23 WTC cycle, Khawaja made 1,621 runs at an average of 64.84, with six centuries and seven fifties. His best score was 195*.

“I think this current Australian team is as good as any other team that’s played before,” Khawaja boldly declared as quoted by ICC.

“I mean, you look at the bowlers that we have – Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Nathan Lyon and then you mix it in with the batting, particularly the World Test Championship team that won it last year with David Warner and Steve Smith.”

“I think it is as good as any of the other teams that I have grown up watching. And I do not say that lightly,” he added.

The batter still remembers the team Steve Waugh captained to a record 16 straight Test triumphs between October 1999 and February 2001 and the side led by Ricky Ponting between 2005 and 2008 that matched that effort of 16 consecutive Test wins.

Those Australian sides that dominated Test cricket around the turn of the century are littered with famous names, and Khawaja knows how good they were.

“I have grown up watching some amazing Australian teams, and I would never say we are better than any of them, never,” he said.

“Those amazing teams, especially those of the early 2000s, did some amazing feats. But this team, the balance, what it has, it is one of the strongest ones I have played in,” he added.

His resurgence back into Australia’s Test side also culminated in claiming the ICC Test Player of the Year award last year, and the veteran believes the honour bestowed upon him is as high as anything he has previously achieved in cricket.

“It has to be probably the greatest honour that I have received,” Khawaja said.

“It is not just in Australia, it is not domestic cricket, it is worldwide. When you look at the list of cricketers who’ve won the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year, (Kumar) Sangakkara, Ricky Ponting, Steve Smith, some of the greats of the game, and it is quite humbling to have won the same trophy.”

“If you had told me any time in my career, particularly two years ago, that I would be winning ICC Test Cricketer of the Year, I would have laughed in your face. It is something, and I think it is probably going to be one of the most cherishing awards that I have in my career,” he concluded.

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