Century for Australia A in India spurring Usman Khawaja for greater achievements
Usman Khawaja's 101* off 93 balls came after scores of 13 and 10 on tour. @Getty

Usman Khawaja believes that his match-winning century for Australia A against India B in the ongoing quadrangular series in Alur will put him in a better frame of mind for Australia’s tour of the UAE in October.

Against the backdrop of a Test batting average of 14.62 in nine Test innings in Asia, Khawaja scored his 10th List A century – and second when batting for Australia A – to help seal a last-ball win over India B on Monday, to put his team in the final. His unbeaten 101 off 93 balls came after scores of 13 and 10 on tour.

“I’ve always liked coming over to India and playing cricket here. I enjoy the white-ball stuff too because there’s a lot of reward for your shots here,” he told reporters on Tuesday.  “It is a little bit different because there’s a bit more spin involved than back home – (where) there’s a lot of pace bowling. That’s always a nice challenge and something different.”

A leaner, fitter Khawaja is hopeful of using the India tour to push for longer selection in Australia’s Test team. Australia play Pakistan for two Tests in October, and the 31-year-old was confident after his match-winning century.

“I think early on in my career I just didn’t perform well enough to cement my position, especially in the Test side,” he said. “It was a learning experience, coming back in to the Test team three or so years ago. I’ve been a regular in the team since then.  I’ve obviously performed a bit better, my mindset (has changed) and I’ve had a bit more experience under my sleeve.

“Cricket is a tough game, no matter who you are. Whether you’re Don Bradman or anyone else you’re always going to fail at some stage. It’s more about the mental battle of making sure you can control what you can control. As much of a cliché as that is, it’s very important. And then just going out and enjoying it, for me. The reason I play cricket is because I love playing with my other team-mates around.”