Former Indian batter claims Khawaja’s sweep shot to be the major reason for Aussies failure in second test

Usman Khawaja

The second Test of the current four-match Test series between Australia and India was over in three days, just as the previous game. Australia experienced a dramatic collapse in the second innings for the second time in a row. They were only able to score 91 runs in the first Test, which ended last week in Delhi, and 113 runs in the second, which also ended there, in 31.1 overs.

The Australian team ended the second day of play on a high note, so there was a lot riding on their performance in the second game. Nevertheless, their batters danced to the melodies of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin during the opening session of the third day of play and were dismissed for just 113 runs. Jadeja recorded his best bowling statistics of his career by removing seven Australian hitters for 42 runs, while Ashwin removed three hitters, including the prized Steve Smith wicket.

Former Indian batter Sanjay Manjrekar offered an unusual analysis of Australia’s batting fall down in the Delhi Test, claiming that opening batter Usman Khawaja was the primary cause of the Aussies’ cheap second-inning dismissals after India won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by taking a 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

Khawaja’s success with the sweep shot in the first innings allegedly spurred the Baggy Greens batters to adopt a similar strategy during the second innings, and in doing so they failed spectacularly, according to the 57-year-old former batter.

“Khawaja utilised every sweep available in today’s game and was successful. After scoring 1 and 5 in Nagpur, he received 81 in the opening innings. The main cause of Australia’s batting failure in the second innings was Khawaja’s success. After that, every Australian batter entered the game with the intention of attacking and doing so with the sweep stroke; “sweep to succeed” seemed to be their guiding principle “Manjrekar published a piece in his Hindustan Times column.

In the second inning, when attempting to play sweep shots, up to five Australian batters, including Steve Smith, were struck out.

It hurt to watch Smith attempt the sweep and be struck out in the second innings. In Pune in 2017, during an Australia-winning Test, this batter received one of the best hundreds ever seen on Indian territory from a foreign batter.