Australia’s batting coach Graeme Hick lauded Khawaja’s incredible effort stating it was one of the best innings he had seen, but in the same breath, also voiced his concerns of the diminishing trait of batting long in Test cricket
Australia’s batting coach Graeme Hick lauded Khawaja’s incredible effort stating it was one of the best innings he had seen, but in the same breath, also voiced his concerns of the diminishing trait of batting long in Test cricket

Australia’s Usman Khawaja batted for 867 minutes in the 1st Test against Pakistan, out of which 524 came in the second innings as he helped his team to en epic draw on the final day.

Australia’s batting coach Graeme Hick lauded Khawaja’s incredible effort stating it was one of the best innings he had seen, but in the same breath, also voiced his concerns of the diminishing trait of batting long in Test cricket

“I doubt there’s been a better one in terms of the conditions, the length (of time) we were able to stick out there,” said Hick.

“There’s a definitely been a big shift in the way batters are going about their first-class cricket now. That is one big difference (to previous eras) – if you’re averaging 35 rather than 45, you’re spending a lot less time out in the middle. We all know that the best place to learn is out in the middle,” said the former England international, who played 65 Tests.

“At state level, at club level, wherever you play, the best place to learn is out in the middle so don’t waste those opportunities. As you come up to Test cricket, having to bat for four, five and six hours, it takes a hell of a lot. If you don’t learn to do that in the earlier systems and the earlier cricket you’re playing, don’t expect to do it when you suddenly pitch up in Test cricket,” he went on to add.

He also highlighted how this shift in batting style may well be the reason for batting collapses. Australia lost their ten wickets for just 60 runs in the first innings.

“If you’re playing (Sheffield) Shield cricket and you have opportunities to bat all day … your innings ebbs and flows throughout the day. If you don’t do that there, and try to do it in Test cricket for the first time under that pressure and in that environment that ‘Uzzie’ (Khawaja) did, it’s just not going to happen,” he said.

The second Test starts October 16 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.