IND v AUS 2023: ‘We had the game in palm of our hand’- Usman Khawaja regrets missed chances in Delhi Test

Khawaja had top-scored for Australia with 81 in 1st innings of Delhi Test.

Australia team | GettyOpener Usman Khawaja said that he rues the chances Australian batters missed in the second innings of the second Test in Delhi, which the visitors lost by six wickets and now trail 0-2 in the four-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy series.

Australia were 61/1 at the end of day two and had a lead of one run. Many expected Australians to continue playing the same way they had on day two, scoring at over 5 runs per over. Even Indian captain Rohit Sharma felt the necessity to hold a team huddle in the morning to tell his spinners not to “panic” and “not change fields” in a hurry.

However, things turned out to be exactly the opposite on day three as Ravindra Jadeja (7/42) ran through the Aussie batting lineup with Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne being the only two batters to reach double-figures as they were bundled out for 113 runs.

India then chased down the 115-run target easily with Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara both making 31 runs, with Pujara hitting the winning runs in his 100th Test.

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“Today we had the game in the palm of our hand. Things can happen really quickly in the subcontinent, and we know that, and they did, unfortunately. We couldn’t string a partnership together,” Khawaja told ABC Sport.  

He said he had a “good feeling” before the start of play that Australia could win the game.

This morning everything felt really good. I had a really good feeling about us getting some runs on the board and trying to win this Test match, but you can never get too far ahead of yourself in sport. I felt after yesterday (day 2), we had all the momentum,” he said. “If we could get somewhere around 180-plus [runs ahead] I thought it was almost game over. That’s a pretty tough wicket out there but we just couldn’t do it,” Khawaja added.

He concluded by saying that the boys will be driven to perform well in the remaining two Tests despite poor performances in the first two Tests.

(Indian Express inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 20 Feb, 2023

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