Time Sunday Jun 06 2021

Usman Khawaja eyes comeback in Australian squad via impressive PSL 2021 performances

Australian batsman Usman Khawaja plays a shot during the Islamabad United's training session. Photo: Twitter/ Islamabad United

  • Australian batsman Usman Khawaja says “every good performance” he puts up in PSL will help him regain a contract with Cricket Australia.
  • Pakistan-born batsman says he wanted to play for Islamabad United since he was born in Pakistan's capital.
  • Khawaja says batsmen will have to bear the brunt of the UAE weather.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan-born Australian batsman Usman Khawaja said he would like to play impressive cricket in the remaining matches of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 to regain his place in the Australian team.

Khawaja, during a virtual media talk with just a few days remaining in the resumption of the PSL, said that “every good performance” he would put in the league will help him regain a contract with Cricket Australia — the cricket governing body in his country.

“No matter where you play, your form and performance always help you get back in the national team,” said the 34-year-old.

Read more: Here's list of all matches Islamabad United will play in Abu Dhabi

When asked about his views on playing for Islamabad United, the Australian said he had been waiting for the opportunity to play for the team.

“Since it is the city where I was born and played my cricket in childhood, I wanted to be part of United. Due to pressing international commitment over the years that was not possible. But now I am here and looking forward to representing the city,” said Khawaja.

When asked to share his childhood memories while living in Islamabad, he said he just remembered playing on the streets along with his brothers and sisters.

Khawaja weary of UAE conditions

During the presser, the 34-year-old was asked about the weather conditions in Abu Dhabi as well. 

“Definitely it will be the batsmen who will have to bear the brunt of the weather. It is extremely hot here and when you put a helmet on, things get even tougher,” said Khawaja.

The Australian said that for bowlers, bowling four overs may not be that “demanding”, but batting for long periods with all the gear may take a “toll” on the batsmen.

Read more: Australia's Usman Khawaja excited about playing cricket in Pakistan

“It will be even tougher when asked to play back-to-back matches. It is the humidity that is killing. Yet, we are confident to put in our best efforts as we are professionals,” said Khawaja.

The left-handed batsman said that the PSL is known for the good bowling attacks batsmen face.

“Pacers as well as spinners are considered as very good in the PSL. So I am looking forward to playing for the very first time here. I have experience of other franchise cricket including Big Bash, IPL, and Utility Blast. So I am carrying that experience with me and hopefully it will help United,” said the Australian.

Read more: Usman Khawaja wants to get back to his birthplace Pakistan to play PSL

The batsman also said that he will put in all his effort to play every game on merit and play the role his team and coaches have set for him.

“You never say anything final about T20 cricket. Sometimes getting 120 becomes all the more difficult. So it all depends on the situation and the wicket,” said the batsman.

Khawaja also spoke about his time with the team and said that in the Islamabad squad he has “some old friends”.

“Saeed Ajmal is one of them though he is not playing, yet his company keeps me spirited,” said the Australian. 


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