The Australian batter Usman Khwaja started the year 2023 with his highest Test score.
Usman Khawaja was the only one of Australia’s top five batsmen who hadn’t made a century this season until today. It probably shouldn’t have been a surprise that he cleared the air at the SCG.
A year ago to the day, Khawaja came back to Test cricket on this ground against England, mostly by accident when Travis Head got sick with Covid. If that chance hadn’t come up, it would still be one of the biggest “what ifs” for this team.
Khawaja would go on to make two hundreds in that game, which made him impossible to drop. At the end of 2022, he had scored 1080 runs at a rate of 67.50, and that was even with a slow end in the first two Tests against South Africa. Now he has a great start to the year 2023. He has had one of the best comebacks in recent cricket history.
When Khawaja made his second run in the 76th over, he became only the fourth player after Wally Hammond, Doug Walters, and VVS Laxman to make three straight hundreds at the SCG. At the end of the day, when he was still unbeaten on 195 and rain was starting to fall again, his average at the venue was 130.83, which was almost double his next best average at a venue where he has played more than one Test.
People talk a lot about how long this Australian Test team will stay together, and some think that the next seven months, which could define an era, will be the last time this group plays together. Khawaja turned 36 a few weeks ago, which is the same age as his opening partner and good friend David Warner. This has led to questions about the change.
Warner told Fox Cricket on the first day of play, “We’re going to enjoy the next year as much as we can.” “It’s important to us that we don’t leave this team with a big hole. I know from those five years when a lot of the best players left that there are big holes to fill no matter how many games you play.
“We always talk about how many games a team has played and how much that affects how well they play and how they think. You can’t make up for that.”
Warner’s MCG double-century may have re-energized his Test career enough for it to last beyond the overseas tours of India and England. He was coy last week about possibly playing Boxing Day again, and he has said before that Tests will be the first to go, but as a single-format player, there seems to be no reason why Khawaja couldn’t get to 40 if he still has the hunger.
Steven Smith said, “Right now, he’s at the top of his game. He’s scoring runs with ease and hitting the ball well, so I think he’s pretty comfortable and playing really well.” “I guess he can play as long as he wants, just like Davey, and hang them up whenever he wants.”
Khawaja had a strange time with the West Indies series. Twice, he got to 60 runs and looked like he was going to get more, but then he was out by a medium-paced bowler. Kyle Mayers in Perth and Devon Thomas, who was really the backup wicketkeeper, in Adelaide. In the first innings against South Africa at the Gabba, Khawaja was hit in the middle by a peach from Anrich Nortje. He then hit a shot to point in the small chase. Then, at the MCG, he hit Kagiso Rabada outside off before watching most of the rest of the batting team break apart South Africa’s attack. But Khawaja has found a way to stay very calm when things go wrong in sports.
This time around, Khawaja was in charge. On 25, he was given a lbw for reverse sweeping against Simon Harmer, but the DRS showed that he was holding a glove. On a pitch that sometimes helped, the offspinner gave Khawaja a few more uneasy moments, but he was mostly calm.
Khawaja’s batting against Harmer and Keshav Maharaj had a lot of the same parts as when he played in Pakistan, where he scored 496 runs in three Tests. He had an 87.30% strike rate against the struggling Maharaj, who could tell this player was different from the one he faced in 2018.
Maharaj said, “It’s clear that he’s come back and worked very hard.” “When I played him here in 2016 and then again in South Africa in 2018, I could see that he plays all around the wicket, he has a lot of faith in his defense, and he knows when he has a chance to score. His hands are very good. He has worked very hard, and he is a much better player against spin than he was four years ago.”
Smith, who batted with Khawaja for a total of 209 runs, sees a player who is very comfortable with his game.
He said, “I think he’s just really at ease with the way he’s playing.” “He has a lot of ways to score. If you set up the field one way, he can play one way to get a boundary and force you to put someone there, then play another way and force you to put someone there.
“His horizontal bat shots against spin are very good. He hasn’t played the reverse as much as I thought he would today, but since there wasn’t much spin, he probably didn’t need to.”
Khawaja began 2023 the same way he did last year. Whether or not he can keep having the same kind of success he did in the past year could have a big effect on how well the Test team does.
KL Rahul’s Fitness Update: Asia Cup Anticipation
Indian cricket player KL Rahul doing exercise
Get the latest KL Rahul Fitness Update as the Asia Cup draws near. With the tournament on the horizon, all eyes are on KL Rahul and his efforts to enhance his physical condition. This anticipation adds an extra layer of excitement to the upcoming Asia Cup, as fans eagerly await his progress and contributions on the field.
Unveiling the Remarkable Strides
“KL’s journey within our conditioning camp has yielded remarkable strides,” Dravid affirmed during an engaging conversation in Alur on a Tuesday. He further elaborated on Rahul’s intensive training regimen, highlighting the significant advancements achieved in alignment with the team’s envisioned trajectory. However, it’s important to underscore that Rahul’s participation will be limited to the earlier part of the tour, excluding the segment taking place in Kandy.
Amid this cricketing expedition, the responsibility of overseeing Rahul’s well-being in the upcoming days rests firmly on the shoulders of the National Cricket Academy (NCA). A comprehensive reassessment of his physical state is scheduled for September 4—a critical juncture that will shape the course of action moving forward. Encouragingly, Rahul’s journey so far is indicative of a promising future, marked by substantial progress and commendable breakthroughs.
Navigating Injury Setbacks and Selection Strategy
The meticulous composition of the Asia Cup team on August 21 took into careful consideration KL Rahul’s state of health. Ajit Agarkar, the discerning chairman of selectors, disclosed that Rahul had encountered a “minor niggle” after a complete recovery from a thigh injury sustained during the IPL 2023 season. While the medical team at the NCA expressed contentment with Rahul’s batting workload, concerns surfaced regarding his wicketkeeping prowess, particularly after he expressed fatigue following practice games.
Mastering the Art of Batting: Rahul’s Regimen
Intriguingly, Rahul’s batting prowess has showcased resilience during his practice sessions at the Alur nets. On the final day of India’s intensive six-day training camp, Rahul dedicated nearly 35 minutes to the crease, confronting an array of bowlers encompassing both pace and spin. While he refrained from partaking in bowling drills, his immersive practice was apparent.
Rahul’s training routine unveiled a multifaceted approach, with a special emphasis on handling spin bowling. Positioned as the No. 5 batsman, he skillfully employed footwork to counter leg spin, demonstrating meticulous shot selection. Moreover, his adaptability shone through as he engaged in full-blooded sweeps against the spin duo of R Sai Kishore and Manav Suthar, both known for their left-arm spin expertise.
Starting to feel like me again 🏃♂️🏟️ pic.twitter.com/8cECI7oRDZ— K L Rahul (@klrahul) July 11, 2023
Strategizing for Excellence
As Rahul’s training regimen progressed, he navigated to the second net—a space dedicated to facing the new ball delivered by the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna. His unwavering attention was directed towards aligning his stance with the bounce, honing his ability to play straight, and judiciously utilizing pace to manipulate the trajectory of the ball. A post-session interaction with Coach Dravid and Virat Kohli underscored Rahul’s commitment to refining his skills.
Balancing Act: Skill Development and Preservation
Despite his fervent dedication, Rahul’s training routine has been carefully curated to prevent undue physical strain. The team management, vigilant about his well-being, has ensured that his wicketkeeping drills strike the right balance between intensity and preservation. His sessions, particularly those focused on lateral movement and spin, are calibrated to foster growth without compromising his physical resilience.
Rahul’s proactive participation extended to meaningful interactions with fellow cricketer Rishabh Pant. The duo shared insights and engaged in rehab and fitness drills alongside the team, underscoring the collaborative spirit within the Indian cricket fraternity.
A Glimpse of Squad Dynamics
As the cricketing spectacle approaches, India’s Asia Cup contingent boasts the presence of wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan. Additionally, Sanju Samson has been designated as the team’s travelling substitute, poised to step in when needed.
In Conclusion: The Path Ahead
In conclusion, KL Rahul fitness update and contribute significantly to the upcoming stages of the Asia Cup resonates as a central narrative. His ongoing progress, meticulously overseen by the NCA physiotherapy team, holds the promise of an impactful return to the field. The cricketing community eagerly anticipates his presence in the Super 4s phase, envisioning his role as a cornerstone in India’s pursuit of glory.
Ashwin’s Insight : Cricket’s Middle-Order Revolution
Ashwin doesn’t think India has a problem at No.4 or No.5 now that Dhoni and Yuvraj have left the team. He said that there is no question about India’s opening order.
India’s middle-order in ODIs is always a topic of discussion. When they lost in the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup, a big reason was that they didn’t have a good No. 4. Since Yuvraj Singh’s last ODI on June 30, 2017, India has tried more than 10 players in that position, but captain Rohit Sharma says they still haven’t found the right fit. The No. 5 spot is just the same. Even though the way teams think about batting in ODIs is changing quickly, flexible batting line-ups are now the rule. However, not having a bankable middle order has hurt many times. In the last couple of years, however, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul seem to have helped India find the right mix.
Ravichandran Ashwin says that if both Iyer and Rahul are ready to play, there should be no question about India’s No. 4 and No. 5 in the Asia Cup and World Cup. He is correct. Rahul and Iyer have the best numbers of any middle-order openers India has tried since the 2019 World Cup.
Ashwin even said that Rahul, who has scored 742 runs at a remarkable average of 53 and a striking strike rate of 99.33 since taking on the new role of keeping wickets and batting at No.5, has filled the middle-order spot with “expertise” since MS Dhoni and Yuvraj retired.
“India had been looking for a candidate for Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni since they left the team. Rahul has done a good job in that role. He will always bat at No. 5 and keep wickets for us,” Ashwin wrote on his YouTube account.
Ashwin, who didn’t make it to the Asia Cup, praised Rahul for taking over as keeper-batsman after Rishabh Pant got hurt.
“Before Pant got hurt, Rahul was next in line. Now that Pant is out, Ishan Kishan is the second goal, and he has jumped at the chance. Rahul has a minor injury, but he should be fine for the first game. If he isn’t, we have a travelling team of 18 people in Sanju Samson,” Ashwin said.
“India’s No.4 should not be up for debate”: Ashwin
Shreyas Iyer is similar. Iyer got 805 runs before he hurt his back again and again. His average was 47.35, and his strike rate was 94.37. The Mumbai right-hander’s ability to hit big shots against all types of spinners makes him an ideal No.4 in subcontinent conditions. He also has a double game. Iyer has shown that he can handle the pressure if a couple of wickets fall early and then use it to his advantage. If he comes in to bat after a good start, he can beat the spinners right away.
“Shreyas Iyer is just as important to this team as KL Rahul. He is a steady No.4 for India and one of their best players against spin. Whenever he has played at 4, he has been a key part of their success. “If he is fully fit to play, there shouldn’t be any debate about the No. 4 spot,” Ashwin said on his YouTube account when talking about India’s Asia Cup team.
Ajit Agarkar, the head of selectors for the BCCI, put to rest any doubts about Iyer’s health. He also said that Rahul has a new injury and might not play in India’s Asia Cup opener against Pakistan. Rahul and Iyer’s good health will be the most important thing for India in the Asia Cup and World Cup, not where they play in the XI. Ashwin has said that if Rahul and Iyer are both healthy, they will play at No. 4 and No. 5 respectively.
Asia Cup 2023:India’s Squad,Contenders & Captaincy
India’s 2023 Asia Cup Squad
September marks the start of the next Asia Cup competition. The Asian Cricket Council oversees this prestigious competition. There had been talk of Pakistan hosting the competition, but now it appears that plans have changed. When the ACC announces the final host and schedule, that will be it. There will be 13 games played in this major competition, according to the data.
Many cricket followers can’t wait for this massive ACC-run competition. Cricket fans in India are eager to learn about their team’s Asia Cup 2023 roster. The team for the forthcoming competition has not been announced as of yet.
Nonetheless, the following players will likely be included in the Indian squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023: KL Rahul, Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal, Suryakumar Yadav, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, Arshdeep Singh, Ruturaj Gaikwad, etc.
List of 2023 Asia Cup Participants
Six teams will compete in the 2023 Asia Cup, according to reports. There will be one-day matches in this competition. Sri Lanka won this prestigious competition in 2022 and is the current holder of the title.
The roster of participating players in the Asia Cup will be made public shortly.
1. Indian Squad: KL Rahul, Ravichandran Ashwin, Suryakumar Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Kuldeep Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, etc. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
2. Pakistan Squad: Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir, Babar Azam, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Rizwan, Khushdil Shah, Naseem Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed, etc. are all members of the Pakistan Squad. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
3.Bangladesh Squad: Mohammad Saifuddin, Ebadot Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Parvez Hossain Emon, Anamul Haque, Mahedi Hasan, Mehidy Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Naim, Mushfiqur Rahim, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Sabbir Rahman, Afif Hossain, etc. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
4.Afghanistan Squad : Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Nabi, Fareed Ahmad, Usman Ghani, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Samiullah Shinwari, Najibullah Zadran, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ibrahim, Zadran, Afsar Zazai. Soon, we shall get more specifics about the actual team.
5.Sri Lanka Squad : Asitha Fernando, Nuwanidu Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ashen Bandara, Praveen Jayawickrama, Chamika Karunaratne, Pramod Madushan, Dilshan, Madushanka, Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Matheesha Pathirana, Dasun Shanaka, Mahesh Theekshana, Nuwan Thushara, Jeffrey Vandersay, etc. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
6.Nepal Squad : Aarif Sheikh and Aasif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee and Sompal Kami and Lalit Rajbanshi and Sandeep Lamichhane and Karna KC and Gulsan Jha and Rohit Paudel and Bhim Sharki and so on. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
Schedule for the 2023 Asia Cup
The ACC will soon announce the dates of the upcoming matches. In September, you may watch this fascinating and important competition. Hong Kong qualified for the Asia Cup in the previous tournament. Nepal, however, beat out the United Arab Emirates in the ACC Men’s Premier Cup to earn entry to this year’s tournament.
To see how well this young team does in such a major competition would be thrilling. This tournament features a lot of big names and big players. The 2019 Asia Cup will include 13 total games between the six participating teams (split into two groups). They’ll be competing for the title of Asia Cup 2023 champion.
2023 India Asia Cup Team Captain
There has been no announcement made regarding who will lead the Indian team at the 2023 Asia Cup. However, Rohit Sharma is expected to lead the Indian team at the upcoming Asia Cup in 2023. In the ongoing WCC Finals, India is being captained by Rohit Sharma.
He is undoubtedly a top-tier cricket player. As a result, many people expect Rohit Sharma to lead the Indian team at the 2023 Asia Cup. When India last competed in the ACC event, Rohit led the team as captain.