It was grey today in Sydney and fair to say the mood in the Australian dressing room, matched it when play was called off around 5pm, replaying their dismissals in their mind and uttering oh no, here we go again.. Australia got off to a promising start though, getting to 0/55 before Phil Hughes departed to a silly waft outside leg stump to bring in Usman Khawaja on debut for his country.
While his innings wasn’t the longest or greatest innings he’ll ever play but it was something special just for the way he went about it, he was padded up from the moment the national anthems were sung until he actually got out into the middle, after forty minutes of butterflies during the luncheon break.
During lunch, they showed his family beaming with pride and talking about his debut, Khawaja the first muslim to play for Australia came out to bat and from the first ball showed that the hype was warrented. His first ball, he whisked away off his pads for two but I think it was the next that stamped his authority, a pull shot which could have been taken from the Ricky Ponting playbook.
Khawaja scored his early runs quickly but realised he had to graft and waited for the bad ball, which was refreshing after hours of torturous blocking and leaving by Australian batsmen in this series, It also emphasised how youth can help a batsmen, he doesn’t have the record to worry about and could play with freedom.
That’s enough gushing about Usman Khawaja, there were other players who did well today, Phil Hughes showed that he can actually put his mind to something, like he did today where he was leaving a lot of deliveries and waiting for the one within his zone to hit to the boundary, sadly this deserted him just before lunch and he added to his series of low scores.
Speaking of openers, Shane Watson again failed in his danger period between 40 runs and 75 runs, he’d be the next Bradman if he could convert some of his starts. This isn’t to detract from the English bowlers, who again showed they can maintain a constant line and length and wait for the batsmen to make a mistake and they did four times.
That’s enough for Day 1, hopefully tomorrow Australia will be saved by Michael Hussey again, with Haddin and the tail providing adequete support.