Khawaja: Ali doesn’t have me in a spin

A dejected Usman Khawaja leaves the field after falling to spin at the Gabba.
A dejected Usman Khawaja leaves the field after falling to spin at the Gabba.

USMAN Khawaja has invited England to keep targeting him with Moeen Ali, confident pace is the greatest danger for any batsman in Adelaide.

The left-handed star has brushed off renewed concern over his record against spin, explaining "sometimes you just get out" when asked about missing a straight one to Ali in the first Test.

Khawaja has been in outstanding touch at domestic level in the lead-up to the Ashes, and is confident he can punch out his third straight summer of huge Test runs.

There was nothing coincidental about Ali being brought on the moment Khawaja came to the crease at the Gabba and commentators were predicting the spin bombardment on the Australian No.3 will be a regular tactic.

Khawaja insists he won't be losing sleep

"No, not really. There were two lefties out there and the Gabba was turning a fair bit which was a bit weird for the Gabba on day two," he said.

 

"We did the exact same thing to them with Lyno (Nathan Lyon).

"In Australia, you're most likely to get out to, especially in a pink ball game, a lot of the quicks.

"Spin plays an important role and there's one good spinner in both sides.

"I score a lot of runs in Australia. I'm really happy with where I'm at.

"Sometimes you just get out."

Australia's strict instructions in the sub-continental Tests they played this year was to under no circumstances get out to a ball that goes straight from the spinners.

As in, the coaching staff would rather cop one of the batsmen nicking off rather than getting struck cold on the pads.

 

Another Test, another Khawaja failure against spin.
Another Test, another Khawaja failure against spin.

In Australia the conditions are so different, the same rules don't necessarily apply.

Khawaja says he won't be getting caught up in complicated game plans.

"I have a pretty simple game plan. Watch the ball and hit it," he said.

"I don't think there's anything too drastic I have to worry about. It's game one.

 

"Every time I go out there, I watch the ball and score runs. I'm going to do exactly the same thing going forward."

Australia has played three pink ball matches to date and England one, but this is the first time an Ashes Test match will be contested under lights.

There couldn't be more at stake.

The Australians are way on top in the series after their 10 wicket triumph in Brisbane, but there's an unpredictability about the pink ball Test that negates some of the usual rules around momentum and cricket.

Most are expecting England swing king Jimmy Anderson to be an unstoppable force in Adelaide, but Khawaja isn't necessarily sure that will be the case.

"The pink ball has changed a little over time. It's become a bit more consistent, it's become closer to a red ball than it was three years ago when it was going around corners," he said.

"I think if the conditions are right and it's swinging, yes (Anderson could be lethal), but it's one of those balls it doesn't always swing consistently so it's a bit hard to get a gauge on.

"It makes for a really great spectacle and you can still score runs if you play well and if you don't bowl well you're still going to get hit around. It's still a pretty even contest.

"I think good cricket always prevails.

"The pink ball is still fairly new to everyone so I don't think anyone's fully worked it out."



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