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Ashes 2021-22: Usman Khawaja makes three-year long wait count with twin centuries at SCG

With every shot played from his bat, Usman Khawaja made the selectors scratch their heads on why he was not part of the team for the past three years.

Ritesh Pathak Author

Published on - 8 January 2022 1:22 pm

‘The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win,’ Kobe Bryant had once said and Australia’s Usman Khawaja just gave us a testimony of that in the ongoing fourth Ashes Test. Khawaja was out of the Australian Test team for three years but as soon as he got an opportunity, he made sure it didn’t get wasted. The 35-year-old made his three-year-long wait count with twin centuries at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

In the fourth Ashes Test, Khawaja scored centuries in both innings and put Australia in the front seat. While the hundred of the first innings saw a calm and composed Khawaja playing his shorts with elegance, the second innings hundred was a brutal one aimed at scoring quickly for his team. But one thing that was common in both was the determination and hunger to score. With every shot played from his bat, the southpaw made the selectors scratch their heads on why he was not part of the team for the past three years.

A comeback in style

In the first innings, Usman Khawaja walked out to bat when Australia were 117/3 with Steve Smith at the other end. It’s quite obvious that when Smith is there in the middle, no one would bother looking at the batsman at the other end and if was someone making a comeback after three years, it was not even a thought. Usman Khawaja, however, proved everyone wrong with his patience, resurgence, and elegance. He cut, pulled, played drives, flicked, and defended but did not give away his wicket.

He reached his half-century with an inside edge off Stuart Broad. It took him 134 balls for that but it was worth the wait. He steadily reached his 9th Test century (137) off Jack Leach’s bowling and the crowd was on its feet, applauding the comeback hero. However, it was not done for Khawaja yet. He was determined to get another one in the next innings and he did.

WATCH: Usman Khawaja’s wife and daughter cheer as the batter hits his comeback ton

In the second innings, his shots were a bit more free-flowing as the southpaw reached his fifty with a cracking cover drive off Stuart Broad and backed it with a hundred (101*). It was all joy for Khawaja who was playing his 45th Test match. With twin hundred, Usman Khawaja not only announced his comeback but got himself listed in an elite list as well.

Khawaja becomes only 6th Australian to score twin centuries in Ashes history

Ashes started way back in 1882 and ever since then only five Australians were able to score twin centuries. Khawaja became the sixth. The first one had come from Warren Bardsley in 1909 when he had scored 136 and 130 in the two innings. It took 38 years for another player to join Bardsley when Arthur Morris scored 122 and 124* in 1947. The third came 50 years later. Steve Waugh scored 108, 116 in 1997 to get himself included in the elite list. Five years later, Matthew Hayden scored 197, 103. The fifth was Steve Smith when he scored 144, 142 in 2019 and the latest one to feature in the list is Usman Khawaja with 137 and 101*.

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