Ahmedabad, March 10 (IANS) Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden showered praise on Usman Khawaja after the opener completed his 150 against India at lunch in the fourth Test, saying that the left-hander is similar to legendary batter Mark Waugh.
Following his maiden Test hundred in India, Khawaja overtook Indian skipper Rohit Sharma to become the highest run-getter in the 2022/23 edition of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
After failing twice in Nagpur, the opening batter went on to score back-to-back half-centuries in the next two games at Delhi and Indore. In the fourth and final Test here, his splendid run reached its high mark, as he is playing on 165* in Australia’s first innings.
Speaking during Lunch on Day 2, Hayden hailed Khawaja’s impressive performance and said he is a player who bides his time and play effortlessly.
“Usman Khawaja should be in that 100 Test match category. He’s played 59 Test matches, I reckon that he is 40 short of what it should have been, and that is due to his underwhelming body language. He is similar to someone like Mark Waugh. He was so stylish that the word ‘soft’ was invented. He was so sharp and good, just like Khawaja,” said Hayden.
“He is an individual who bides his time and is a proper opening batter, he is a proper left-hander as well, he plays shots off his pads, waist back in the crease, and plays effortlessly through the covers.
“He makes it look so easy, that when he gets out that he has an appearance that he is soft. And I don’t believe that and have never believed that for a second because you can’t bat for 300 balls and be soft, he is hard as a cat’s head according to me,” he added.
With Khawaja on the crease at 165* and Cameron Green’s (114) maiden ton, Australia reached 387/7 against India on Day Two of the fourth and final Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday.