Head coach Justin Langer is in full praise of the left-hand opening batsman Usman Khawaja, after his outstanding match-saving knock in the final innings of the first Test against Pakistan at Dubai.
Chasing the impregnable target in the final innings on a turning pitch, the Australian batting line-up put their heads down and focussed hard on their defense versus the likes of Yasir Shah and Bilal Asif.
That is how Usman Khawaja scored his first Test hundred in Asia and amassed an outstanding knock of 141, which followed a brilliant 85 in the first innings.
Coming into this series there were serious doubts about Khawaja's technique and ability against spin but proved most people wrong. He would've wanted to be the one to finish off the game but Khawaja can be proud to have done so much.
"I’ve got so much admiration for Uzzie(Usman)," Langer was quoted saying after the game, "He’s got himself really, really fit to bat in these conditions and to do what he’s done is a great credit to him but then to also overcome the demons."
"People have talked about whether he can play spin bowling. I never had a single doubt that Usman Khawaja could play spin bowling," he added, "And it’s great to see him getting the benefits of the Australian A tour and then the work he’s put into it to get rewarded for all the work he’s put in is massive for him," before expressing, "No doubt, he’s done some great things in Test cricket but when you have an innings like he’s just had then and a game actually – not just that innings – but the first innings was brilliant as well."
"You never underestimate again how that can take you to even a further level in your career. I’ve got huge - always have had as a player - huge admiration for what he’s done over the last six months," he signed off.
The second Test at Abu Dhabi starts on Tuesday, October 16.
(Inputs from cricket.com.au)