Aussie slugger Usman Khawaja enjoys ‘special’ Pakistan series: I don’t expect a hostile crowd

Usman Khawaja is delighted to be part of Australia’s historic tour of Pakistan but says there will be no room for emotion when the first ball is thrown against Babar Azam’s side in the opening test.

Khawaja, who was born in Islamabad and moved to Australia when he was just four, admits it will be “very special” to play in his native country.

“The fact that I’m playing in Pakistan is special, don’t get me wrong, it’s very special,” the left-hander said at a virtual press conference.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I grew up on the streets.

“There’s definitely that bit of vibes, but once the game starts you don’t really think about that stuff.”

Khawaja earned his place on the tour after his double hundreds in Sydney against England in his first Test in more than two years.

“I’ve been playing for so long now. I was off the team, I’m back on the team – now every game for me is just a bonus for Australia,” he said.

Khawaja, whose hundreds finished fifth in Sydney, will open Australia’s innings with left left-hander David Warner. While expecting warm welcomes in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore, Khawaja also thought Pakistani fans would show their appreciation for the visitors’ quality cricket.

“I always have a lot of support here in Pakistan. I think they will support me, they will hope I get runs, but at the same time they will hope that Australia will be crushed,” he said with a smile.

“It’s going to be one of those catch-22s.

“But I’m not expecting a hostile crowd. Pakistanis love their cricket and they appreciate good cricket and I think that’s what they hope for.”

The first test starts on Friday in Rawalpindi.

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