Australia batsman Usman Khawaja, who returned to the Test side after a gap of almost three years, justified his selection with a timely hundred to put the host on top in the fourth Ashes Test against England in Sydney. Riding on his century, the Aussies are at 356/7 in the third session of day 2.
Khawaja came into the playing XI in place of Travis Head, who has suffered from COVID-19 and is currently isolated. And the southpaw has delivered when his team needed the most. Usman Khawaja came out to bat when Australia were reeling at 117/3.
The Queenslander, playing his first Test since being axed during the 2019 Ashes, reached his century to help his side seize control at the SCG. The veteran offered a chance off the bowling of Jack Leach on 28, which Joe Root put down at first slip to continue a miserable series as England captain.
Usman Khawaja never looked back, seeing off the second new ball as he kicked on after a 115-run stand with Steve Smith (67), who was eventually dismissed by Stuart Broad. The left-hander reached three figures in the final over before tea on Thursday, clipping a delivery from Leach.
Khawaja leapt with joy after running three, acknowledging his family in the crowd then hugging skipper Pat Cummins. His wife and young daughter were also ecstatic as they jumped off their seat to celebrate the achievement.
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Although Australia lost wickets at the other end, Usman Khawaja went strong keeping the English bowlers at the bay. He stitched crucial partnerships with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc as Australia look to post a daunting first innings total.