After carrying drinks, Khawaja delighted to tick off the milestone
NEW DELHI: Usman Khawaja emerged as the most successful batter in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy where scoring runs on rank turners became a challenge. But the pitch for the fourth and final Test at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad changed the trend with batters finding it easy to score.
Australia opener Usman Khawaja took the maximum advantage of the best batting conditions in the series by smashing his first Test hundred in India on his third trip to the country. Australia reached a commanding 255/4 at the close of play on Day 1.
Having carried drinks on the previous India tours, it turned out to be a huge moment for Khawaja who was thrilled after finally ticking the milestone off his bucket list on Thursday.
It was the first hundred by an Australia batter in the series and Khawaja is now the leading run-scorer having overtaken India captain Rohit Sharma, who smashed the only other hundred of the series.
“There was a lot of emotion in that,” Khawaja told the broadcasters after bringing up his 14th Test hundred in the final over of the day.
“I’ve been to India two tours before this and I carried the drinks all eight Test matches.
“It was a long journey. To finally get a hundred in India, as an Australian that’s what you want to do, that’s what you want to tick off, so it’s very special.”
Khawaja forged 50-plus partnerships with Travis Head, Steve Smith and Cameron Green to boost Australia’s hopes of levelling the series which India lead 2-1.
“It was such a nice wicket. I just didn’t want to give my wicket away,” Khawaja said of his approach.
“Plenty of times I wanted to hit them over the top, which is what I normally do in the subcontinent, but I thought ‘today you’re going to have to get me out’.
“That was a mental battle more than anything else because you have to put your ego away.
“I wasn’t striking very fast. It’s just a battle all day just to continue the process… because I knew the longer I bat, the better it was for us.”
(With Reuters Inputs)