T20 World Cup: If Australia beats India and makes the semifinal, it can win the title, says Usman Khawaja

Khawaja also heaped praises at the leadership of Mitchell Marsh. “He’s a terrific cricketer. I think his captaincy is just him. It’s him as a person. He doesn’t try to be anything that he’s not,” he said.

Published : Jun 24, 2024 17:01 IST - 3 MINS READ

Opener Usman Khawaja expressed full confidence in Australia’s ability to clinch the T20 World Cup title, saying openers David Warner and Travis Head will play a key role with leggie Adam Zampa can prove to be the trump card.

“I think (Travis) Head and Davey (David Warner) at the top are very important. I think, if they’re scoring runs, we’re going to win games. I also think Zampa is obviously a very crucial player, especially as the game goes on. The wickets are probably more conducive to spin. He’s always a big part, especially in the middle overs,” Khwaja said in an exclusive video shared by him to PTI videos.

The southpaw was confident that Australia would win the final match against India and eventually win the tournament to become the first team in history to be holders of all the major ICC trophies at once.

Khawaja asserted that Australia’s historical prowess in knockout situations could propel to go all the way in the Caribbean.

He stated, “If Australia beats India and makes the semi-final, I think definitely, I think Australia can win. I think we’ve just got to get to the semi-final. I think we’ve shown over the years that we’re a great knockout team. As soon as there’s a knockout situation, more times than not we’ve won, but we’ve just got to get there.”

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Khawaja heaped praises at the leadership of Mitchell Marsh. “He’s a terrific cricketer. I think his captaincy is just him. It’s him as a person. He doesn’t try to be anything that he’s not. He’s relaxed. He goes out and plays the game, takes the game on, leads from the front, leads by his actions. So, I’ve really enjoyed watching his captaincy,” he said.

Khawaja also said that no team is invincible but acknowledged that India will be tough to get past.

“I mean, India’s always a threat. They have batsmen left, right and centre. They have great bowlers. They have excellent spinners. They have literally all bases covered in India. They always have. I wouldn’t go out and say India’s so far ahead, a better team than everyone else, because they’re not. So I think on any day, any team can beat anyone, particularly in T20 cricket,” he observed.

Khawaja hoped that his former opening partner David Warner gets a send off in style and wished that his partner in crime finishes his career on a high.

“As a friend, I’d love to see him (Warner) finish on a high. He’s been playing some really good cricket. It’s been really nice to see. You can tell he’s just enjoying being out there. He’s playing pretty relaxed. So he should. Yeah, it would be good to see,” he added.

Turning his attention to Test cricket, Khawaja spoke about the forthcoming series against India and England, considering them the pinnacle of cricketing contests.

“I hope so. It’s always tough to beat India in India. But in the last couple of series, India has beaten Australia in Australia, which is never nice for an Australian. So, yeah, we’ve got a lot to play for. It’s a big series. To me, England and India are the two biggest series,” he exclaimed.

Khawaja concluded by reflecting on the enduring popularity of Test cricket in Australia and the new golden ticket initiative taken by cricket Australia.

“The baggy green is still the pinnacle of Australian cricket. I think we’re very lucky in Australia. I still think we get paid really well to play Test cricket. It’s not the same across the world. So, it’s a little bit different for us. We don’t have to try as hard. Because we have a long-standing tradition. And kids that grow up these days still want to get a baggy green,” he noted.

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