It seems only fitting recalled Australian batsman Usman Khawaja launches his Test comeback against New Zealand.


After all, the Black Caps’ last Test win against Australia almost ended Khawaja’s baggy green career.

Or so Khawaja thought.

Khawaja admitted his head was spinning when he was dropped from the Test team for the first time following Australia’s shock seven-run second Test loss to the Black Caps in Hobart back in 2011.

But the long comeback trail and the influence of mentor Darren Lehmann have helped Khawaja put it all in perspective.

Khawaja now appears to have come full circle ahead of the first Test against New Zealand, starting in Brisbane on Thursday.

“When I look back, if we won that game (2011 Hobart Test) I probably wouldn’t have been dropped,” Khawaja said.

“That’s just how life pans out sometimes.

“I did play some mind games with myself after I was dropped the first time, it was tough.

“But those are the times you learn the most.

“You have to look at the big picture. What’s meant to be is meant to be.”

Set to bat at No.3 for a new look Australia in Brisbane, Khawaja has also benefited from his reunion with national coach Lehmann.

NSW-bred Khawaja revitalised his first class career when he linked with Lehmann at Queensland in 2012.

Now he hopes to do the same with his Test career under the man affectionately known as Boof.

“The major reason I came to Queensland was Darren,” Khawaja said.

“It was almost disappointing when he went to the Australian team.

“But I know the boys here have loved him.

“He was a world class cricketer, he understands people, personalities – he is just a great coach.”

Khawaja said Lehmann hadn’t said too much in the Test camp ahead of his comeback – and he wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“That’s Darren. He knows he doesn’t have to (talk),” he said.

Khawaja raised eyebrows when he arrived at Tuesday’s Gabba media session icing his troublesome left knee.

But the elegant left handed batsman said it was nothing to worry about – and he would know.

“I didn’t know too much about knees when I did it (2014 injury) but I am a very inquisitive guy,” said Khawaja ahead of his 10th Test.

“I have looked it up on YouTube and Google, I know everything about knees now – I am a genius.

“I am fine. I am just making sure I tick every box before this first Test.”


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