2nd Test, Day 1: We will get to know the par score by tomorrow surely : Usman Khawaja

New Delhi : Australia’s left-handed opener Usman Khawaja thinks that one will get to know the par score on the pitch for the second Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test during Day Two’s play on Saturday. Khawaja was the hero for Australia on Day One of the second Test at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Friday, making a gritty 81 off 125 balls, also the first fifty made by a visiting batter on the ongoing tour.

He was great in defending deliveries and was pristine in his strokeplay while hitting 12 fours and a six. “Look, it’s difficult for us and me as I don’t know the par score unless India bats. I feel that 260 is pretty good.

But let’s see what India gets when they bat tomorrow, then we can see about the par score. They are very good in their conditions. But now we have three spinners, especially on that wicket, it’s going to be quite challenging, just like how their three spinners.

We will get to know the par score by tomorrow surely,” he said in the post-match press conference. Khawaja is no stranger to Indian conditions, having come previously with Australia A team for four-day games as well as with the ODI side during their 3-2 triumph in 2019.”

I have been to the subcontinent before. I scored a lot of runs in Pakistan and against India A (in 2018). I scored hundreds here against India A in India. I played the ODI series here in 2019 and had a couple of runs and was Man of the Series, which was the most runs for an overseas player in five games.

I have come here and scored runs, people just seem to forget.”Asked about his assessment of the pitch as well as of the Indian fast-bowling duo of Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj for the second Test, Khawaja felt something happens when bowlers hit the cracks on the pitch and that one can’t force shots to be played.”

We have only one pace bowler in Patty (captain Pat Cummins), so it’s a small sample size and it’s hard to get a good gauge on it. If you take a look at those wickets, then there are the cracks and when the ball hits at those cracks, then it pops up.

On top of that, Siraj and Shami are good bowlers. So, you expect them to get something off the new ball and also get some reverse too.””You can’t force on these wickets. Sometimes when it’s going up and down, if you try to probably force something, then you can probably get out.

I look for a spot or a bad ball. Otherwise, defend or leave it. It’s pretty simple:- just watch the ball and how it’s coming.”Khawaja, 36, also felt that the pitch in New Delhi is a little different from Nagpur based on the bounce.”

Peter (Handscomb) and Patty (Pat Cummins) were batting very well. India have got a whole lot of right-handers and there isn’t really much rough for the right-handers. It’s a little bit of a different game.”

“I still think the wicket has got enough up and down. It’s a bit up and down, but didn’t bounce much and spin a lot as it was in Nagpur. It will be interesting to see how this game pans out but the wicket is a little different than Nagpur just because of that bounce.”

Khawaja signed off by saying a word on David Warner fielding on Day Two will be taken by the medical staff. Cricket Australia (CA) had said after Australia were bowled out for 263 that Warner was in discomfort after taking blows to his forearm and a blow to his helmet during his innings of 15.”

I think the medical staff will assess tomorrow. He looked a little weary at the moment as he was hit on the arm and the head. At the head, he’s been a little bit weary at the moment and that’s why he didn’t come out to the field. The medical staff will figure out what happens from here.”



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