Australian opening batter Usman Khawaja has opened up on the desire to win back the Border-Gavaskar Trophy this year in India before calling time on his career. The left-handed batter remains excited to take on the Indian spinners in their backyard in the upcoming four-Test series.
Australia will embark on a tour of India, hoping to win their first series on Indian soil since 2004. The tourists have named a 18-man squad, comprising four spinners. The Aussies have also won only one Test on Indian soil in their last four attempts.
Khawaja admitted that they are high on confidence and look like the best side to accomplish a Test series victory in India. The 36-year-old recalled how close Australia came in 2017 to beating India and how much he loves playing spin-bowling.
He was quoted as saying by Perth Now:
"For a lot of boys, this will be our last Indian tour so we'd love to win it. I have been on the other tours. I haven't played, but I look at this team and I think it is probably the best team I have been a part of to go over and achieve this goal. As a team we haven't won there since the early 2000s.
"We got really close last time and had a lot of opportunities to win but just couldn't get over the line. I really like playing against spin. I didn't when I was younger. I do now. Spinning conditions throw a lot of cool stuff at you."
The southpaw was adjudged the Player of the Series when Australia toured Pakistan earlier this year, smacking 496 runs in three Tests at a jaw-dropping average of 165.33. He also performed decently in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka in July.
"You are playing against one of the toughest teams in the world in their backyard" - Usman Khawaja
Khawaja understands the challenges Australia face, but is content with not playing a practice match in India, as conditions in warm-ups don't always match the ones provided for Tests.
On this, he said:
"I have been quite successful in the sub-continent the last few years in white-ball and red-ball cricket so things for me won't really change. I know if I stick to my processes I give myself the best chance to score. Taking them on in their conditions, I think everybody is excited because you are playing against one of the toughest teams in the world in their backyard.
"Have you ever been pre-tour with us? They can be spinning wickets when we play Tests, but we go to the practice matches and they are green Gabba-like wickets out there so what's the point? I think we have finally learned. When I heard we weren't going to have a practice game, I went up to Andrew McDonald and said, 'Good on 'ya.'"
The Pakistan-born batter is yet to play Test cricket in India and will open the innings with David Warner.
Get IPL 2023 Live Score along with Points Table & Schedule Updates at Sportskeeda.