Thanks to the Amazon Prime documentary series, we can almost pinpoint the exact moment Usman Khawaja’s test career started swirling the drain.
The 10-part series shows moments of confrontation and clashing personalities between Khawaja and Aussie cricket team coach Justin Langer during series against Pakistan, India and England last year.
Langer has repeatedly stated he is a fan of Khawaja and insists the door is still open for the 33-year-old to return to play test cricket again — but his actions suggest otherwise.
Amazon Prime’s The Test shows Khawaja offering constructive criticism to Langer and his training approach during last summer’s test series loss to India in Australia as well as overseas during series against Pakistan and England.
The Australian’s Peter Lalor on Wednesday said the documentary makes it clear how frustrated Langer was to receive open feedback from the top order batsman.
“He clearly wasn’t happy to get that feedback” Lalor told SEN Radio of Khawaja’s admission in the documentary that Langer’s training approach had players “walking on egg shells” during the difficult Indian series.
“Justin Langer comes in (later in the documentary) and says ‘I love Uzzie. He’s the spokesman for the group. He says what’s on his mind’. (But) You go, ‘I’m not sure you do JL, you certainly didn’t enjoy that feedback’.
“Usman didn’t progress that well after that.”
Justin Langer comes across as a strong leader in The Test.Source:Getty Images
Khawaja went on to be picked for Australia’s World Cup squad and played three Ashes Tests despite nursing a hamstring injury.
He was dropped for the final two Ashes Tests and then lost his place in the Aussie test squad for the entire Australian summer of cricket.
It led Aussie legend Ian Chappell to declare Khawaja may have played his final test for Australia at the age of 33.
Lalor also said on Wednesday Langer’s frustrations with Khawaja were further exposed in the documentary when the Queensland batsman spoke up critically when the Aussie coach asked for feedback on the team’s training processes during the tour of England.
“JL just loses it,” Lalor said of Langer’s outburst in front of the team.
Usman Khawaja may have played his final test.Source:AAP
Despite this, Langer insisted this summer he would welcome Khawaja back into the team if his form warrants selection.
“Uzzie is 33-years-old, he’s got a great record here, he’s missed out a few times,” Langer said of the decision to snub Khawaja for the First Test in November.
“He knows what he has to do.
“In this instance, we probably don’t need a 33-year-old like Uzzie not playing the Test match.
“He’s a very good player, he got himself so fit and strong. I still maintain one of the reasons we didn’t win the World Cup is he hurt his hamstring in the semi-final. I’ve got great admiration for Uzzie, I think he’s a fantastic player, and I’m sure when he finds a bit of touch he’ll be pushing really hard to get back into the team.”
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