Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia batsman Usman Khawaja has announced that he was very disappointed with the way the team management handled the homework-gate scandal.
Khawaja, along with all-rounder Shane Watson and the pace duo of James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson, were dropped from the national team for the third Test against India in Mohali after failing to complete a homework task given to them by then head coach Mickey Arthur.
Due to this, Khawaja feels that many people see him as a lazy cricketer, but he insisted that his mind is often racing at “a million miles an hour”.
“It wasn’t fun. It was quite a horrible time to be honest,” Khawaja said on Alison’s Tea Break for ESPNcricinfo. “It was disappointing because I knew I was pretty much going to be playing in that Test match, I hadn’t officially been told, but I was in. It was just disappointing how it worked out. I don’t think the communication was strong enough.
“Firstly I wasn’t sure…I thought it was due before the next Test match. If someone said to me, look, you’ve got to hand this in by Sunday, or else you’re not playing the next Test match, then I promise you, not one person would not hand it in. They’d all hand it in. So there was a bit of communication error. I’m not saying I’m not totally at fault – I should probably listen harder. But it was very disappointing how it was all handled.”
Khawaja’s omission from the squad for the third Test allowed Steven Smith to score a brilliant 92 and cement his place in the side. Following that match, Smith has not missed a single Test and has even gone on to score four centuries.
“I work as hard as everyone else on and off the field,” Khawaja said. “I put everything into cricket. I think at time when I was younger there were times when my standards in some places weren’t up to scratch and I learnt that quick. Now I make sure that I tick all the boxes, do what I need to do to be in the best state that I can be to win cricket games for my team.
“I think sometimes my relaxed nature and the way I go about things just rubs people the wrong way. I can’t help it. When I’m batting and I’m doing stuff, things in my head is going a million miles an hour. When I’m doing stuff it’s all going quickly.
“But my exterior is a lot different to what’s happening in my head, so I think sometimes people take me in the wrong way if they don’t know me well enough. It’s something I fought a lot when I was younger but I think when people get to know me they see the real me.”