The Khawaja enigma

TheGenuineTailender Roar Guru

By TheGenuineTailender, TheGenuineTailender is a Roar Guru

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    Usman Khawaja is one of the few Aussie cricketers that should be guaranteed selection for the rest of the summer. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

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    Usman Khawaja is touted as Australia’s next in line and he showed why for the Prime Minister’s XI yesterday. He built a solid 69 against the touring West Indies.

    Already this season he is the Sheffield Shield’s fourth leading run-scorer. He has been praised as one of the brightest young batting talents in Australia. He has a classy and sightly technique adept at combatting tricky conditions. He has tasted Test cricket before.

    Despite all of this, Khawaja’s ascent to a mainstay in Australia’s middle order appears to have hit hurdles at every turn.

    Khawaja is a shining light in the otherwise barren landscape of talented young Australian batsmen. In his 60 first-class matches to date, the stylish left hander has amassed 4045 runs, mostly in the toughest domestic competition in the world, Australia’s Sheffield Shield.

    His average of 43.03 is all the more remarkable when you consider how highly-geared conditions have been towards fast-bowling and the recent and controversial emergence of ‘result pitches’.

    The fifth and final Ashes test at the SCG in 2011 was the scene of Khawaja’s Test debut. Within only a few balls, he had clipped a two and stamped his authority on the match with a glorious hook for four off the bowling of Chris Tremlett.

    A star was born, or at least, that’s what most casual observers thought that day.

    Khawaja has since added only a further five Test caps to his name. He’s been a sporadic member of the side.

    Had he been made a full-time test match player, he could have played a total of 21 Tests.

    He would be an engrained, experienced and crucial middle order batsman. This is not the case, the selectors missed a trick here and his limited exposure may well come back to bite them come the Ashes this year.

    The National Selection Panel continues to look for reasons not to play Khawaja. Last season, John Inverarity, head of the NSP, cited Khawaja’s fielding, nonchalant work ethic and application as areas of weakness, which if improved would warrant reconsideration of a return to the Australian side.

    All areas of concern were valid and Khawaja needed to lift his off-field commitment.

    It is evident that under the guidance of his new coach, Darren Lehman, that Khawaja has addressed these concerns and developed further into a well-rounded, adaptable and professional cricketer.

    Despite his re-elevation to national squad honours, as injury cover, an actual breakthrough return to the Test XI is yet to come to fruition.

    Khawaja was called upon as Michael Clarke’s back-up for the Boxing Day Test when the captain was under the cloud of a hamstring injury.

    Clarke overcame his fitness concerns and took the field, while Khawaja seemed to have finally sealed his place as the next cab off the rank.

    Yet when in Sydney only six days after the MCG test had finished, Shane Watson was forced to withdraw with a calf injury. It looked logical to most that Khawaja would slot seamlessly into the side.

    However, it was opted for an extended tail and five specialist bowlers. It didn’t make sense that the side was made unbalanced when including Khawaja would have maintained team structure.

    Khawaja was given a long overdue chance in the Australian ODI side. He was unluckily run out for three and abruptly dropped. His opportunities have been severely limited and this is another example of the selectors showing no faith in Khawaja’s ability.

    All things considered, it is evident that Khawaja is deserving of a return. He has addressed his issues, is showing strong form and continues to score runs, especially when it matters.

    Australian cricket fans are unanimous in favour of Khawaja’s return. Yet the NSP still look less convinced than ever that he’s ready.

    The time to get him in the side came long ago, and the opportunity must now be acted upon before it is gone. If Australia is to continue its rebuild towards world number one, the classy left-hander is a must.

    Over to you Roarers, how does Khawaja fit into the Australian side and at whose expense?

    Have Your Say



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    The Crowd Says (164)

    • January 30th 2013 @ 6:16am
      Red Kev said | January 30th 2013 @ 6:16am | ! Report

      The pivotal point is the one you made half-way through:
      “The National Selection Panel continues to look for reasons not to play Khawaja.”
      It really is that simple. His fielding has yielded two run outs in his last two matches, but critics will cling to the tough dropped catch of Pollard. His batting was faultless until a mis-cued lofted drive got him caught out on 69, but critics will point out that Doolan scored more runs yesterday despite offering up a chance on 44 that wasn’t taken. His batting this season has been very consistent, 438 @ 39.8 in the Shield, 257 @ 51.4 in the Ryobi Cup, 206 @ 41.2, 56 against SL in the Chairman’s XI match and 69 against WI in the PM’s XI match, but critics will cling to the 3 in his only ODI or bring up his most recent shield match (where he scored 0 & 8) instead of the one before where he notched 138 on a deck where no-one else passed 50.
      The touring squad will be announced on Thursday and while I would be leaving Watson at home and taking 2 batsmen + SOK, I can almost guarantee that the NSP will take Watson + Maxwell + 1 batsman and given their track record I don’t expect it to be Usman Tariq Khawaja.
      Averaging 42.9 regardless of the format of the match is good consistency from Khawaja, but expect the selectors to prefer Doolan’s 161* against South Africa and 87 against the WI and better shield season so far. Doolan’s poor fielding won’t count against him because they aren’t looking for reasons not to select him – especially not with Ponting backing him, Maxwell is being backed by Langer and Arthur, and Watson is spruiking for Henriques – make no mistake the boys club is alive and well in Australian cricket and not enough people in high places are pushing UTK’s case (it doesn’t matter how much support we give him).

      • January 30th 2013 @ 6:37am
        AndyMack said | January 30th 2013 @ 6:37am | ! Report

        Red Kev, one thing you seem to be saying here is the public seem to jump on board one or two performances, and i couldnt agree more. Surely long term performance is the most critical thing, with recent form the secondary criteria.

        Remember Cowan had an ordinary FC career over many years, played 2-3 good innings within 6 weeks and was in the Test team. Shows that we should not put too much stock in recent form, esp for batsmen who will nick one today, and play and miss 3 of them next week on route to a century.

        • January 30th 2013 @ 7:11am
          Red Kev said | January 30th 2013 @ 7:11am | ! Report

          I actually think the Press and the Selectors are far worse in this regard than the general cricket watching public.
          The news cycle is now so much shorter than 24 hours that considering an opinion is a thing of the past nevermind actual investigative journalism.
          Selectors have been hounded about form so much they don’t allow players to settle, the absudly high rate of personnel turnover this summer is evidence of that. They also play favourites and regardless of stats like to see runs scored. I can guarantee there was a selector at the NSW v Qld match in which Khawaja scored 0 & 8, but I am not so confident one was at Bellerive to see his match winning 138.

      • Roar Guru

        January 30th 2013 @ 7:13am
        JDP said | January 30th 2013 @ 7:13am | ! Report

        Great analysis RedKev, as a form Usman camp supporter, I always look forward to your analysis across the cricket threads (despite your analysis in some of the Rugby threads!). Honestly if Maxwell makes it on the plane, I may go close to losing my faith in Australian Cricket. I like Doolan – but he is not there yet, and his case can surely not be stronger than UTK?

        • January 30th 2013 @ 10:40am
          Disco said | January 30th 2013 @ 10:40am | ! Report

          Doolan’s probably viewed as a ‘good bloke’, full of mateship, digger spirit etc. etc.

        • January 30th 2013 @ 11:24am
          Rob Barrow said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:24am | ! Report

          John i think both Khawaja and Maxwell will be on the plane but it will be a big misktake if we take Maxwell as allrounder, SOK is a better allrounder and so are about 5 other allrounders. The number 6 spot should go to Khawaja, another 70 today in the PM’s game and his fielding oks brilliant. He is averaging above 40 in all 3 formats and was stand in batsman for the last 2 tests so lets get him in. And one of either SOK or Doherty should be our backup spinners.

      • January 30th 2013 @ 10:38am
        Disco said | January 30th 2013 @ 10:38am | ! Report

        Khawaja won’t go to India because the squad isn’t chosen solely on cricketing grounds.

        “Doolan’s poor fielding won’t count against him because they aren’t looking for reasons not to select him – especially not with Ponting backing him.” Precisely

        • January 30th 2013 @ 1:47pm
          Richard said | January 30th 2013 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

          Ponting actually backed both Doolan and Khawaja after the game. I’m not sure where you are getting his bias from

          • January 30th 2013 @ 2:00pm
            Bearfax said | January 30th 2013 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

            I think what Disco is saying is that a number of the prominent players in the game are publicly pushing, almost always on state basis, their favourites for selection, especially in those positions vacated by Ponting and Hussey. Ponting may have backed Khawaja but he also pushed Doolans case. Warne, David Hussey, Watson etc have pushed their favourites from their state sides. Mickey tends to pick his WA favourites Marsh and Voges having coached there. No one of these top line players are really saying much about Khawaja except as an afterthought and yet he should be the first in line. Such is state politics. At present no strong South Australian or Queensland reps to push their team mates so we dont hear anything about it. That was why it was such a relief when Hughes finally got his chance.

          • January 30th 2013 @ 2:04pm
            Red Kev said | January 30th 2013 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

            There’s pre-match press on it. Ponting is smart enough not to be caught saying “this guy should be in the team” on the record.

            • January 30th 2013 @ 11:05pm
              Richard said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:05pm | ! Report

              Khawaja is next in line. I don’t think the selectors would survive the fallout if he is passed over again, especially with Warne wading in saying Arthur should be sacked. The heat is being turned up

      • January 30th 2013 @ 11:22am
        Rob Barrow said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:22am | ! Report

        Khawaja showed last night that he can field fine and he also showed in the first ODI that he is a good fielder. Khawaja got the second hightest score yesterday. In the ODI you refer to he was unlucky to be run out and should have got one more game in Adelaide. As mentioned by Re Kv Khawaja’s 2012/13 domestic season has yielded 438 runs @ 40 in First-Class matches, 257 runs @ 51.4 in List-A matches, and 206 runs @ 42 in the BBL, not bad consistency across all formats and boof deserves alot of credit for this. But most importantly the bloke has ticker and gets runs when its difficult conditions similar to Waugh, Clarke and those before him, take a look at his 140 against Tasmania where he outscored the Tasmanians on his own a team which included Bailey, Doolan, Cossie, Paine, Faulkner

    • January 30th 2013 @ 6:34am
      AndyMack said | January 30th 2013 @ 6:34am | ! Report

      TGT, you know you are risk incurring the wrath of one Brett McKay with this article (joking Brett….)

      Over the last 20 odd years of watching test cricket, there are lots of examples of fans being divided over selections, but i cannot ever recall there being overwhelming support for one guy to make the team. until now with UTK.

      Really hope Red Kev’s assessment above is incorrect and UTK makes the india trip.

      • Roar Guru

        January 30th 2013 @ 7:09am
        JDP said | January 30th 2013 @ 7:09am | ! Report

        Andymack – you are spot on, in all my sports following on this site, I find it hard to recall a situation where there has been such unanimous support for the selection of a cricketer.

        I think it is because his class is so self-evident, I have loved watching him bat since he came on to the scene. I wish so much that he gets his chance in India. Come on UZZIE!

        • January 30th 2013 @ 7:23am
          Red Kev said | January 30th 2013 @ 7:23am | ! Report

          Not just his class but the lack of class in the team or being touted by ‘insiders’ in press statements.
          We just lost Ponting and M.Hussey and Watson is more fragile than ever. It is obvious that Hughes and Khawaja are miles ahead of everyone else, but the NSP is pushing (through the media) Maxwell, Steve Smith, Doolan, Bailey and Henriques and even Haddin as a specialist bat. Nevermind that Hussey is pure class and needs to be replaced with class, we’ll keep going with guys like Cowan and Shaun Marsh.
          The other factor is that Khawaja has been treated harshly by the selectors and Australians respond to that, we like the underdog not the annointed (case in point is Clarke).
          It also astonishes me that Joe Burns hasn’t been mentioned at all.

          • January 30th 2013 @ 10:42am
            Disco said | January 30th 2013 @ 10:42am | ! Report

            How can the NSP find a spot for Burns when there’s such quality top 7 candidates knocking about as Smith, Maxwell and Johnson?!

            • January 30th 2013 @ 11:43am
              formeropenside said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:43am | ! Report

              I assume this is tongue in cheek.

              • January 30th 2013 @ 4:57pm
                Disco said | January 30th 2013 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

                Johnson ‘s almost a good a No.7 as Graeme Swann!

              • January 30th 2013 @ 9:33pm
                AndyMack said | January 30th 2013 @ 9:33pm | ! Report

                Openside, Swannie doesnt bat at 7, Prior does, with usually Broad or Bresnan following. Swan bats #9 mostly…..

          • January 30th 2013 @ 11:26am
            Rob Barrow said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:26am | ! Report

            Yes i see both Hughes and Khawaja as future of our batting lineup.

          • February 4th 2013 @ 5:03pm
            Ken Hambling said | February 4th 2013 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

            With Khawaja’s selection in the Indian tour we can see now that selectors realise that Khawaja is a important player for us in the next 12 months

      • January 30th 2013 @ 10:41am
        Disco said | January 30th 2013 @ 10:41am | ! Report

        Oh, no, not the wrath of an expert!

      • Columnist

        January 30th 2013 @ 12:11pm
        Brett McKay said | January 30th 2013 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

        Grrr, wrath….

        😉

        • January 30th 2013 @ 1:43pm
          Bearfax said | January 30th 2013 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

          Be gentle with us Brett. We were asked. I know you get twitchy when we mention the K. word. But hey there are other fine letters in the alphabet we could use…such as U.

          • Columnist

            January 30th 2013 @ 3:41pm
            Brett McKay said | January 30th 2013 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

            Again, I’ve got no problem with reasoned discussion, which this one obviously is. It’s the hijacking and pointless comments that really grates..

            • January 30th 2013 @ 4:01pm
              Bearfax said | January 30th 2013 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

              Ah yes but of course we all have different perspectives on things dont we. Its like I say to a French mate of mine. One man’s fish is another man’s poisson……hope you understand French otherwise the meanings lost.

              • Columnist

                January 30th 2013 @ 4:20pm
                Brett McKay said | January 30th 2013 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

                sorry mate, no French, but I certainly get your point..

              • January 30th 2013 @ 9:34pm
                AndyMack said | January 30th 2013 @ 9:34pm | ! Report

                haha, nice one Bearfax.

                A little bit of wit and class on the Roar, like it.

      • January 30th 2013 @ 11:31pm
        Matt h said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:31pm | ! Report

        It actually reminds me of the massive push for Hughes to displace Hayden a few years back

    • Roar Guru

      January 30th 2013 @ 8:17am
      JDP said | January 30th 2013 @ 8:17am | ! Report

      Yup you have hit it on the head there – Australians respond to those being treated harshly. Although I think UTK differs slightly to the situation with Hodge. Not to denigrate Hodge, but it just appears that UTK is a classy, gentleman of a cricketer. Do you think that there is a cultural element – eg not fitting the Aussie team culture aspect here?

      I hope not.

      • January 30th 2013 @ 8:25am
        Red Kev said | January 30th 2013 @ 8:25am | ! Report

        I honestly don’t think so (although in my darker moments I find it easy to sling that accusation around my head). Khawaja has been in Australia a long time and around high level cricket squads a long time. I judge it more likely that someone in the national setup just doesn’t like or rate him – I know from press and tv statements that Ian Chappell and Mark Taylor don’t think much of him; if similar comments were forthcoming from say a fielding coach or one of the selectors it would carry a lot of weight.

        • Roar Guru

          January 30th 2013 @ 8:50am
          JDP said | January 30th 2013 @ 8:50am | ! Report

          Not even from a racial/Pakistani culture perspective, more from a team culture perspective. You just get the feeling that guys like George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith fit the ‘baggy green culture’ and guys like UTK don’t. And in the end that may work against him somewhat. I have heard that from Taylor – genuinely surpirsed that Chappelli holds that opinion.

          Khawaja in some way suffers (incredibly) from the fact that he is such a calm, relaxed batsman (consider his first test appearance). I think people mistake this for a lack of desire or lack of effort or grit. I think that his career choices (England stint and QLD shift) speak against this. Just because he is not a mongrel, unsportsmanlike player like Maxwell does not make him any less suitable to wear the baggy green. UTK would be a truly great role model for young aussie cricketers.

          • January 30th 2013 @ 8:57am
            Johnno said | January 30th 2013 @ 8:57am | ! Report

            Usman is bright , he has an aviation degree, so is a trined pilot. Ed Cowan has been to uni,. SO why does Ed Cowan give ivers the shiver’s , but not Usman. And this thing that Ed Cowan is this amazing team man, there was a lot of innuendo about him being arrogant at NSW. Usman is a good bloke, Iver’s should give him a go.

            • January 30th 2013 @ 11:02am
              Disco said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              Cowan gave the ANZAC address, don’t you know?! That makes him an integral Test player.

              • January 30th 2013 @ 11:31am
                Rob Barrow said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:31am | ! Report

                hehe oh yes the anzac address, but seriously Khawaja is educated like Cowan and perhaps more so and is easier to get along with as i also read that Cowan had isssues fitting into the NSW team. Cossie said in a Sydney Thunders game that Khawaja is the funniest guy in the dressing room so its not him fitting in the dressing room but perhaps he doesn’t follow the skipper and coach around everywhere like the other players but he shouldn’t have to.

            • February 4th 2013 @ 5:03pm
              Ken Hambling said | February 4th 2013 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

              I didn’t know he was a pilot as well, talented kid.

          • January 30th 2013 @ 8:57am
            Red Kev said | January 30th 2013 @ 8:57am | ! Report

            You’re right about that.
            Brettig in one of his articles wrote that “Khawaja entered the home summer having developed a perception of self-containment, if not absorption.” an observation that has to have been articulated by one of his CA sources. Although interestingly in the BBL promo interviews he was cited as one of the funniest players in the Thunder squad by his teammates.
            I should clarify about Chappelli – his comments concerned Khawaja’s footwork and application and were technical in nature rather than regarding the intangible “good sort” “blokey” nonsense that Taylor’s comments did (and that any press comments about Quiney or Cowan invariably contain).

            • January 30th 2013 @ 9:49am
              Hansie said | January 30th 2013 @ 9:49am | ! Report

              Brettig is very tight with Langer, which would be ironic because Langer’s coaching did little to develop Khawaja and a number of other young batters entering the test ranks.

          • January 30th 2013 @ 5:28pm
            Rob Barrow said | January 30th 2013 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

            Very well said John, Khawaja is a great role model and very hard worker and he doesn’t need to insult opposition teams to prove this

        • January 30th 2013 @ 9:18am
          nachos supreme said | January 30th 2013 @ 9:18am | ! Report

          Could it be that he doesn’t fit the drinking culture?

          • January 30th 2013 @ 9:23am
            Red Kev said | January 30th 2013 @ 9:23am | ! Report

            I never thought of that – the team is sponsored by VB and is always photographed spraying beer around the room while singing ‘underneath the southern cross I stand’ after a victory and Khawaja a Muslim so doesn’t drink.
            But no.
            20 years ago maybe it might have been a point of tension, but not these days – not drinking wouldn’t be a big deal (it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Siddle was a tea-totaller).

            • January 30th 2013 @ 11:35am
              Rob Barrow said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:35am | ! Report

              Yeah i don’t think not drinking is a issue, Siddle would watch his drinking and so would Cowan so we are passed that .

            • Roar Guru

              January 30th 2013 @ 12:00pm
              langou said | January 30th 2013 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

              Red Kev

              Many of my muslim mates enjoy a beer or two

              It annoys me how much is made about his religion. Does anyone know or talk about the religion of other Australian crickets? If you found out that George Baily was a Christian would you say he is not getting picked ‘because he is Christian and therefore doesn’t have sex before marriage’ or he ‘he can’t have a mix of wool and linen in his jumper which could cause problems with teammates’

              Obviously the selectors don’t hate the guy otherwise they wouldn’t have picked him to be back up for Clarke and wouldn’t have picked him in the first one-dayer. Yeah he is unlucky but let’s keep all this rubbish about his race and religion out of the argument.

              • January 30th 2013 @ 12:42pm
                Red Kev said | January 30th 2013 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

                Back off. nachos supreme asked a question and I gave a considered answer.
                Personally I don’t give a fig about anyone’s faith or lack thereof. I will however say that it is not unreasonable to assume that Muslim’s don’t drink alcohol (intoxicants such as alcohol are deemed unlawful by the Qur’an based on my dim recollection of high school religious studies and a quick Google search). Not to say that people of Islamic faith don’t consume alcohol, nor that people of Jewish faith don’t eat bacon – but is not an unreasonable assumption and the question/comment has a legitimate place in this discussion, especially when Australia does (or did) have a reputation as a drinking culture.

              • January 30th 2013 @ 12:56pm
                Jason said | January 30th 2013 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

                Siddle’s a vegan FFS. It doesn’t get any more unAustralian than that.

              • January 30th 2013 @ 2:09pm
                jameswm said | January 30th 2013 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

                But Siddle’s a good bloke to have around the dressing room.

          • Roar Guru

            January 30th 2013 @ 9:23am
            JDP said | January 30th 2013 @ 9:23am | ! Report

            That is a great point – didnt really think of the Muslim perspective. I certainly hope not, but that could be a valid point.

          • January 30th 2013 @ 9:30am
            jameswm said | January 30th 2013 @ 9:30am | ! Report

            I doubt that’s such an issue under Clarke.

        • January 30th 2013 @ 12:45pm
          Hansie said | January 30th 2013 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

          What did Mark Taylor say about Usman Khawaja? Taylor handed Khawaja his first test cap, so I’m surprised that he is now critical of Khawaja.

      • January 30th 2013 @ 10:44am
        Disco said | January 30th 2013 @ 10:44am | ! Report

        I hope not, too. But it’s hard not to suspect that at least Khawaja’s maybe more intelligent than the gormless yes-men (known as ‘good blokes’) that tend to be in favour, and as such his face doesn’t fit.

      • January 30th 2013 @ 11:29am
        Rob Barrow said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:29am | ! Report

        John i don’t thnk it can be an issue with Khawaja fitting in.. From what his team mates in Bulls and Thunder have said publicly he is a very funny guy and a great team man so it can’t be his issues with geling with the team unlike someone like Ahmad who will take time to undersand our culture and humour. It seems clear that the selectors are biased towards Maxwell more than Khawaja which is a shame because Khawaja is a fantastic long term talent.. Talent and performance in shield is surely on Khawaja’s side. The obvious improvement on Khawaja’s fielding also gives Khawaja a tick of approval in the ‘hard worker’ department too. On cricketing terms Khawaja should be treated with the same level of ‘next generation’ appreciation of the likes of Bailey, Warner and Hughes. I really hope Khawaja is our number in India and is given a proper go like the other younger batsman, just give him half the games Cowan got and we will have a long term test star.

        • January 30th 2013 @ 11:47pm
          Matt h said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

          Ok, this is getting a little over the top. Maxwell and bailey have not played a test. Khawaja has got nine and averages 29. I fail to see a bias in the test ranks here. That might change once we see the squad for India, but for now we appear to be jumping at shadows. It seems plain from being on standby that khawaja is likely the next in the middle order. If he was averaging 80 in the shield and hit a Doolanesque set of scores in the A games the conspiracy theory may have more legs.

          • January 31st 2013 @ 6:09am
            Red Kev said | January 31st 2013 @ 6:09am | ! Report

            Wrong.
            Khawaja has played six (6) tests in two blocks of three, not nine.
            He was unused injury cover (for Ponting) for one test. Then played as an injury replacement (for Ponting) for one test. Then he got selected in his own right for two tests. Then got dropped. Then got used as injury replacement (for S.Marsh) for three tests. Then got dropped. Then he was unused injury cover (for Clarke) for two tests this summer.
            And for the record, both times he was dropped Khawaja was averaging over 60 in the shield.
            Cowan has had 13 tests in a row.
            Give Khawaja the faith of 9 tests in a row (India and England) and you’ll see the yawning gap in class between the two.

            • Roar Guru

              January 31st 2013 @ 6:50am
              JDP said | January 31st 2013 @ 6:50am | ! Report

              @Matt h – owned

              • January 31st 2013 @ 11:58am
                matt h said | January 31st 2013 @ 11:58am | ! Report

                6 not 9 – you’re right, sorry about that Red Kev.

                re conspiracy theories I was talking about Rob Barrow’s post which inlcuded references to Maxwell and Bailey, but neither have played a test so any inference of bias towards them compared to Khawaja is obviously false … so far, but as I said the Indian touring party selections may change that.

                And I have no problems with Cowan being taken to task for his record to date. I would replace him in a heartbeat.

                So owned on the 6 vs 9 tests absolutely.

    • January 30th 2013 @ 8:24am
      jamesb said | January 30th 2013 @ 8:24am | ! Report

      Khawaja averaging 43 at first class cricket is very good when you consider that he has been dropped from the test side a couple of times already, which I think he has been very unlucky,

      Then he went back to NSW, we’re NSW cricket has been a basket case. Then, he has gone to QLD and is slowly turning his career around. Alot of that credit should go to QLD coach “boof” Lehmann. “Boof” should be coach of Australia, not Uncle Arthur.

      The point I’m making is Ussie has had a few setbacks, yet his average is still very decent. Many people (and experts) regard Khawaja as one of the best batsman technically in Australia.

      I wonder if Invers agrees with that.

      • January 30th 2013 @ 10:46am
        Disco said | January 30th 2013 @ 10:46am | ! Report

        Don’t forget NSW picked Khawaja ahead of Cowan, Forrest and Warner.

      • January 30th 2013 @ 11:34am
        Rob Barrow said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:34am | ! Report

        Yes i regard him the best technical batsman in Australia and the best player of swing bowling in Australia. Khawaja has the most pure technique among the younger batsman as pointed out by Border, Taylor and Inevarity himself. Both Hughes and Khawaja have earned their spots but the issue here is the mistreatment of Khawaja which can’t go on forever. And with regards his fielding boof has improved his fielding tremendously this year and he has been snaring some tough chances in slips and covers. I saw footage of his 100 against tasmania this year on a deck where he got 138 and Tasmania got 90 and 130 and that lineup included Doolan,Cossie, Bailey, Paine and Faulkner.

    • January 30th 2013 @ 8:46am
      Christo the Daddyo said | January 30th 2013 @ 8:46am | ! Report

      I wonder whether the fact that Khawaja is a pure batsman and not an all-rounder counts against him. There seems to be an search bordering on the obsessive for an all-rounder, particularly now that Watson’s future is starting to look a little shaky for the first time.

      • January 30th 2013 @ 8:48am
        Red Kev said | January 30th 2013 @ 8:48am | ! Report

        He got Sangakkara in the Chairman’s XI game. I think he bowled himself because he was the captain and he probably harbours that same thought – showing he has that string to his bow was important, probably as important as his two run outs this month.

        • Roar Guru

          January 30th 2013 @ 8:51am
          JDP said | January 30th 2013 @ 8:51am | ! Report

          Yeah I saw that – he bowls military mediums right? Yeah the runouts are important. Although I think that realistically – he needs to develop into a catching batpad – given that longterm Warner and Hughes will open and he will no doubt take the no 3 berth (all going to plan)

          • January 30th 2013 @ 9:00am
            Red Kev said | January 30th 2013 @ 9:00am | ! Report

            Batpad / short leg is a difficult spot to field. I have been encouraged by his work for Queensland in the covers and at point and in the slips, so hopefully he’ll be able to adjust to the David Boon fielding spot.

        • January 30th 2013 @ 11:37am
          Rob Barrow said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:37am | ! Report

          Yes he did get Sanga out and PatHoward cknowledged this in his development, but they need to give him more bowling similar to how we encourage Maxwell. But Khawaja’s batting is miles ahead of Maxwell.

    • January 30th 2013 @ 8:47am
      pope paul v11 said | January 30th 2013 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      The fundamental flaw of the Argus report is that it expects the coach and captain to 1be 00% objective as selectors. It’s impossible with mates and favourites. If Arthur C Clarke weren’t involved, I have no doubt Khawaja would have not have been dropped after Hobart loss to NZ, which was primarily because of the lack of runs from Ponting, Clarke, Hussey and Haddin.

      Anyway just give him a run and we can all shut up.

      • January 30th 2013 @ 11:39am
        Rob Barrow said | January 30th 2013 @ 11:39am | ! Report

        Khawaja was vey unlucky to be dropped. Khawaja had a highest score in a record 300 chase and then got run out on 40 in the next game and then got dropped the game after as we lost to NZ and he was unfortuantely caught in the harsh decisions made.Buthe went back and worked with boof and we can see the improvemet in is batting and fielding thisyear.

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