IND vs AUS: Usman Khawaja bats for out of form David Warner, says three innings not big enough sample size

Australian opener Usman Khawaja believes that a mere three innings isn’t a great sample size to question a beleaguered David Warner, who became a bit “weary” after being knocked on the head by a Mohammed Siraj bouncer on day one of the second Test.

Warner has scores of 1, 10 and 15 in the series so far with Mohammed Shami getting him twice with fuller length deliveries angling in.

Inevitably, the question of Warner’s technique has cropped up but Khawaja, fresh from his well-made 81, came to his opening partner’s defence.

“I have to kind of disagree with what you’re saying. He hit two fours of Ashwin in the last game before he got out lbw so he was showing some aggression,” Khawaja said, when asked if Warner, whose stay looked painstaking during the 44 deliveries faced, needs to be pro-active.

“It’s never easy out there, especially starting out, even if you’re opening starting out there is never easy so I was lucky today. I got a couple (of boundaries) to get me going.

“Sometimes you don’t get that and it can be very hard. So yeah, three innings is not enough for me. There’s still a long way to go in this Test series. I’m looking forward to what may happen.” Khawaja is very confident of Warner’s capabilities of bouncing back.

“Davey has been such a terrific player for such a long time. Every time his back is against the wall he produces something so we’ll see.” Warner might have suffered mild concussion

Khawaja said that the hit on the head has made Warner a bit tizzy and hence he didn’t come out to take the field.

“I think the medical staff will have to assess tomorrow. He is a little bit weary at the moment. He obviously got a knock to the arm and then to the head and the head has made him a little bit weary and hence why he didn’t come out to field.

“I think the medical staff will have to figure out what happens from here on in,” Khawaja informed.

“263 is a good score, don’t know about par”

One might beg to differ but the opener feels that 263 is a good score on this track.

“I don’t know a par score until India bats on it. I feel like 260 is pretty good but we are going to have to wait and see tomorrow what India gets,” Khawaja said.

He is hopeful that Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy and Matt Kuhnemann will exploit the conditions to the fullest.

“They’re very good in their own conditions. I think now we have three spinners in the team, especially on that wicket, is going to be challenging, just like their spinners were very challenging.” Shami hit the cracks well

Khawaja pointed out that the surface has an “up and down” feel to it and some of the cracks in the middle of the 22-yard strip aren’t stable enough.

“There are cracks running through the surface. The cracks are not stable. They are hitting those cracks. On top of that, Shami and Siraj are very good bowlers. You expect them to get something with the new ball. And when it is reversing, they are also very good.” “Played by feel”

Khawaja faced a total of seven balls across two innings in Nagpur and hence didn’t do anything different in Delhi.

“I didn’t get a chance to play the first game. I only faced seven balls for the game. So there was no real difference in the plans. I just play by feel. I play by what I think is right for the wicket when I go out. I don’t go out there thinking I want to play certain way.

“I just feel how the bowlers are trying to bowl to me and then I read the game from there. So it’s as simple as that. There’s no difference. And that’s pretty much what I did today,” Khawaja explained his mindset.

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