The SCG put on a beautiful day for Usman Khawaja’s debut.
Rain and dank filled the ground as Usman came out after lunch, then he clipped one for two and smashed one for four, and the ground was still dank as, but happier.
Usman only played 6 or so really classy shots.
He only scored 37.
He never scored in front of square.
He showed that he might play across his front pad a bit and can be squared up.
He also got out just when Australia needed him.
But, there was something about him.
Whether it was the first two shots, the fact that Australia had picked an inform young batsmen who didn’t look like a technical mess, the home crowd thing, the whole asian/muslim thing, or that he made runs while others couldn’t, it didn’t seem to matter, people liked him.
His technical flaws are the sort of small flaws that he can survive with if he works hard. He will score in front of square against a team that pitches up. He will score more than 37. He looked like the best batsman Australia had today. He has more than a few classy shots left in him.
The ground never got any less dank the whole time he batted; he was on and off twice while he was out there. His runs didn’t light up the SCG; they just seemed to make Aussie fans happy
His composure and calmness made a mockery of Australia’s top order throughout the series. He looked like he belonged more than most.
In his first knock in Shield cricket he made 85 run out, against Victoria, it’s fair to say he handles pressure fairly well.
That innings should have pissed me off, but I liked him then, have liked him since, loved his blog piece on being mistaken for a Pakistani cricketer, and loved how he went about it today.
Sometimes you feel you can jinx a young player you like, but I can’t help it, I like his vibe, and to paraphrase a random tweet put up on the big screen by some telecommunications cartel that was ripped off from my man Keatsy, I hope he stays a thing of beauty and a joy forever.