Khawaja joins illustrious group with yet another SCG century

Sydney, Jan 5 (Agency) Australia opener Usman Khawaja has continued his remarkable recent run of form at the SCG by joining an exclusive list of players to have scored three consecutive centuries at the iconic Sydney venue. Khawaja brought up his 13th Test century and third on the trot at the SCG when he pulled South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada for two runs during the opening session on the second day of the third Test against the Proteas on Thursday. It means the left-hander has now scored triple figures in three straight Test knocks in Sydney, following centuries in both innings of the Ashes Test against England at the ground at the start of last year, ICC reported. Just three other players have previously completed that feat, with Australia duo Wally Hammond and Doug Walters and India great VVS Laxman now joined by Khawaja following another century by the Australia veteran. It completes an astonishing 12 months for Khawaja, who has now scored five Test centuries since returning to the Australia Test fold for that Sydney Test last year.

Khawaja hadn’t played a Test match for his country for almost two and a half years prior to his return against England during the Ashes and was recently revealed as one of the four nominees for the ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year for 2022. The 36-year-old scored a whopping 1080 runs at an average of 67.50 from the 11 matches he featured in last year and is nominated alongside Rabada and England duo Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow for the coveted award. While Khawaja’s latest heroics won’t help him win the gong for Test Cricketer of the Year in 2022, his innings is going a long way in ensuring Australia clinch a place at June’s ICC World Test Championship final. Australia currently lead the World Test Championship standings and can book their place in the final with a victory in the ongoing Test against South Africa.