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Justin Langer column

Justin Langer
By Justin Langer
Australia batting/leadership coach

Sometimes during the hectic county cricket schedule, players wake up and are praying for rain before they pull open the curtains in their bedroom.

Some even start their prayers before they go to sleep, hoping for a reprieve from the day-to-day grind of the county game.

Usman Khawaja
Khawaja put in an impressive display on his Test debut

In contrast to this, I can't imagine there was a single person who would have prayed for a single drop of rain on day one of the final Ashes Test in Sydney with England leading the series 2-1.

When it comes to an Ashes Test match at the SCG in front of 40,000 eager spectators, the very last thing anyone would wish for is rain.

Sadly for this tightly-fought contest, the rain watered down a brilliant spectacle as Australia ended the day 134-4.

In Michael Clarke's first Test match as captain of Australia, he started off well by winning the toss, and until the second-last ball before lunch his openers had done a very disciplined job for him.

Phil Hughes's untimely dismissal, dampened the lunchtime spirit within the Australia changing room, but we knew the first session in Sydney is always tough for the batting team, so a solid result had been achieved.

The emergence of debutant Usman Khawaja straight after lunch was the highlight of the day for me. The first three balls of his innings suggest he is ready to play Test cricket.


He was off the mark elegantly on the first ball of his career. The next ball he played a brutal pull shot and the third he left, with positive intent on his front foot.

Until his demise, which was the last action of the day as the rain returned, he looked at ease at the crease, and I am certain his potential will bring a smile to Australian cricket fans.

Although he only scored 37 runs, the world saw enough to suggest Khawaja has what it takes to become an international star.

From Sydney,


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see also
England on top in rain-hit Sydney
03 Jan 11 |  England
Australia select Khawaja and Beer
02 Jan 11 |  England
Haddin defends Clarke as skipper
31 Dec 10 |  Australia
Ponting ruled out of Sydney Test
30 Dec 10 |  Australia
England seal win to retain Ashes
29 Dec 10 |  England
England crash to heavy Ashes loss
19 Dec 10 |  England
England complete Adelaide triumph
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket

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