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Usman Khawaja looks to tick 'three boxes' to prolong Test career

Last updated on 19 Aug 2023 | 12:03 PM
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Usman Khawaja looks to tick 'three boxes' to prolong Test career

The Australia opener finished as the leading run-getter in the recently concluded Ashes series, smashing 496 runs in 10 innings

Australia opener Usman Khawaja finished as the leading run-getter in the recently-concluded Ashes series with 496 runs at 49.6, which included a ton and three fifties in 10 innings. 

However, will he be around for the home Ashes in 2025-26? While Khawaja would like to take it one summer at a time, there are three important boxes he would like to tick before going out. 

"In 2025 … one series at a time, I go with," Khawaja grinned. "You can get ahead of yourself and look to that time [in 2025] and think, 'I can probably get there', but I don't want to [do that]," the 36-year-old said on the sidelines of Cricket Australia's Play Cricket Week campaign.

"I like playing one summer at a time and seeing how the body is going, how the mind is going and whether I am enjoying it. It is those three things. I am ticking those three boxes at the moment, so I will keep playing."

Reflecting on the drawn Ashes series, Khawaja said, "I have had so many people come up to me and tell me how good the Test series was. So for definitely won," he said. "I've had more than 50 people tell me the last couple of weeks how much sleep they lost watching the Ashes.

"We would have loved to have won, but we have now retained [or won] four Ashes series in a row...2019 and 2023 in England. The last time England won in Australia was 2010-11 when I debuted.

"So we've been dominating Ashes cricket for a long time, and that is the bigger picture. England is going to have to come back here and beat us and do something they haven't done for a very long time."

Australia take on West Indies and Pakistan in the summer, which will mark his opening partner David Warner's final few fixtures in Test cricket. However, the southpaw believes Australia has enough options to replace Warner at the top.

"Marcus Harris has been travelling with us a lot, everywhere we go. It would be remiss to think that he is not the next in line to open the batting for Australia," Khawaja said.

"Matt Renshaw has been around and playing some beautiful cricket and scored a Test hundred in Sydney early on [in his career]. Then there's the likes of Cameron Bancroft, who played really well too in WA and has played for Australia also."

Australia will begin World Cup preparations later this month with three T20 Internationals (T20I) and five One-Day Internationals (ODI) against South Africa, starting August 30. 

Also, before the start of their World Cup campaign against India on October 8 in Chennai, Australia will play a three-match ODI series against the hosts between September 22 and 28 in the subcontinent.

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