Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Friendly Fire Has Khawaja Primed for Pressure Test

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Friendly Fire Has Khawaja Primed for Pressure Test

Article excerpt

CRICKET: Usman Khawaja is hoping that facing Australia's best bowlers in the nets will get him ready for a huge Test against the South African pace attack of Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel starting tomorrow.

Khawaja said facing up to the likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins was perfect preparation as the two teams set to battle out the four-match Test series on what are expected to be bowler-friendly wickets.

"It's always testing times against our bowlers, especially when you get a few spicy nets," he said.

"The practice and the nets sessions and the fielding and everything we've done, the preparation is really all we can control at this stage.

"It's been first-class and I'm sure the next two, three days are going to be exactly the same. But when the game comes around it's about being in the contest and doing the basics really well.

"It's a cliche used a lot but the team that does that the longest usually wins red-ball cricket. …

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