Usman Khawaja excited by era-defining six months for Australia Test team in India, the WTC final, and at the Ashes

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Usman Khawaja believes Australia’s men’s Test team will be remembered as a great side if they can overcome three big challenges in the next six months.

The team flies to India next week for the first of a trio of overseas assignments that will shape the team’s place in the history of the game. Australia have not won in India since 2004-05 and will then have a possible World Test Championship final in early June before the Ashes, where they will look not only to retain the urn, as they did in 2019, but also in England. Will win the series. For the first time since 2001.

“100%, definitely,” Khawaja said when asked if the side would be worthy of the great tag should they collect the three trophies on offer. “But win, lose or draw, we’ve played some amazing cricket. We’re the No. 1 team in the world at the moment, for the last year, we’ve got some fantastic players in this team.” [We’ve got] Steve Smith is one of the best Test cricket batsmen I have seen and some of the best bowlers too.

‚ÄúPersonally, this is probably the best team I have been a part of because when I joined the team we were still in a transition phase. We had some great players, [and] There are some new players in the middle, so it’s really good to be in a team where everyone trusts each other and is looking forward to what happens over the next six months.”

Jason Gillespie, who was part of the team that triumphed in India in 2004, voiced what a win in India would mean for the team after watching the 2001 series go hand in hand.

He said, “To be honest, this could be a career-defining tour for this group of Australian players.” “All of us cricket tragedies and fans should be very excited about this group of players, I know I as a cricket fan am excited to see what this group of players can achieve in India “

Usman Khawaja preparing for first Test in India

Khawaja was part of the squad for the 2013 and 2017 tours of India, but is yet to play a Test in the country. He was one of four players suspended for a test on the 2013 trip, known as Homeworkgate, when he did not return assignments given by coach Mickey Arthur.

This time around, Khawaja has returned as a more complete player of spin and is more comfortable in a relaxed set-up. They have been eyeing a tour of India in the last few months and have done some of their preparation during the home summer.

“We always have an eye on future tours, no matter what,” he said. “We take one tour at a time, but you have to keep an eye on the tour, especially if you are going to India in very different conditions from here.

“Even the way I’m practicing, I’m practicing for these [home] game here but when I feel I have ticked that off then I go and do what I feel I need to for the next two months. I know there are many other boys who are the same, just matured. Many of us are old enough now that we’ve been around for a while, with that maturity we understand that you need to keep an eye ahead.”

Some of the 18-player squad will go to a camp in Sydney, while others including Khawaja will continue with their BBL sides during the first leg of the finals series. The team will leave for India early next week, where they will initially stay in Bengaluru before traveling to Nagpur for the first Test starting on February 9.

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