Khawaja is now the world’s best batter as Green’s rivals of the century draw attention to themselves as Aussies crush India to dust

Usman Khawaja’s classy 180 and Cameron Green’s first Test ton put Australia in a dominant position after two days of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series final.

Khawaja can claim to be the world’s top Test batter after his superb innings, the third-highest score by an Australian in India, while the tourists climbed to 480, easily their highest score of the series – the 263 from the first innings in Delhi in the second game.

They had 10 overs against the home side towards the end of the last session, with India going to 36 without incident apart from a ball lost in the last over after a six from Shubman Gill in the sheets covering the seats.

Khawaja has had the most Test runs since the start of last year with 1,608 from 16 games at 69.91, well ahead of next-best runs scorer, England’s Joe Root, who has amassed 1,417 at 52.48 from 17 games.

CLICK HERE for a 7-day free trial to watch Tour of India on KAYO

The 36-year-old newcomer is well ahead of Australian teammates Marnus Labuschagne (1217 at 50.7) and Steve Smith (1115 at 53.09), who top the ICC rankings.

Cameron Green of Australia celebrates his 100th.

Cameron Green of Australia celebrates his 100th. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Khawaja is ninth but will surely move higher when the next ranking is released.

With Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson not dominating in the last 12 months as they have in recent years, Khawaja joins Root, Labuschagne, Smith and Babar Azam of Pakistan as the leading batsmen in Test cricket.

He and Green put up 208 for the fifth wicket, just short of the record by an Australian pair in India set by Kim Hughes and Allan Border, who hit 222 in Chennai in 1979.

Green’s game-changing innings are bad news for the rest of the Cricket World Cup. The young all-rounder hadn’t hit three figures in his first 19 Tests but now that he’s got that monkey off his back he’ll be following in the path of Steve Waugh, who became a prolific century-maker after more than three years around his first ton to reach.

The 23-year-old West Australian continued on 49 not out, skiing down the floor with power and precision, showing little nerve in the 90s before reaching his milestone with a backpoint limit.

He finished with 18 fours from his 170-ball knock and fell on a feather on the glove trying to sweep Ravichandran Ashwin, who struggled hard for nearly 48 overs to win 6-91.

Green made his debut against India in 2020 but after missing three Tests due to a broken finger his return has not only restored balance to Australia’s line-up with a true all-rounder at No. 6 but his career progression is paying off for selection from Panel’s long-term investment in its capabilities.

After Alex Carey continued his batting slump with a wild slog to depart for a duck and Mitchell Starc followed shortly after for six, Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy put up a rarely seen tail resistance from Australia on this tour.

AHMEDABAD, INDIA - MARCH 10: Usman Khawaja of Australia is congratulated by Cameron Green after scoring 150 runs during the second day of the fourth test match in the series between India and Australia at Narendra Modi Stadium on March 10, 2023 in Ahmedabad, India has achieved. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Initially not judged on a LBW decision against Axar Patel, Khawaja was sent on his way 20 runs from the first Test double century after wet weather ruined his chances as Australia declared when he was on 195 in the rain interrupted Sydney game against South Africa in January.

Lyon kept 96 balls for his 34, while Murphy managed not to fall cheaply for the first time of the series as he drifted to 41 before becoming one of Ashwin’s victims.

Australia are in box seat to claim a second straight win over India to end the series 2-2, although the Border Gavaskar trophy was retained by the home side after the second test in Delhi.

At the very least, they’re unlikely to lose from that position. With the pitch not playing many tricks, especially compared to the three angry gymnasts rolled out in the previous three games, India was able to step in to force a tie.

A draw for the four games would be the first time India have failed to win a home series since losing 2-1 to England in 2012. They have won their last 15 series on home soil.

Khawaja’s purple smudge in the twilight of his career raises the opposite question about his childhood friend and regular opening partner, David Warner.

While many are calling for Warner to retire or be dropped after his long slump in form, Khawaja is in the best form of his career at an age when many top-line players have retired or are fading.

He is the leading run scorer for the series with 333 at 47.57 in extremely difficult conditions for batters, more than 100 ahead of second-place finisher Rohit Sharma.

Dean Jones’ legendary 210 in the 1986 Tied Test and Matthew Hayden’s 203 in the memorable 2001 series are the only two Australians to have scored more goals in an innings in India.

For a player who reportedly had a soft spot against spin bowling early in his career, Khawaja now has four centuries in Asia, surpassed only by Smith and Ricky Ponting’s Borders six and five. Khawaja is now the world's best batter as Green's rivals of the century draw attention to themselves as Aussies crush India to dust

Russell Falcon

TheHitc is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button