Birmingham, June 18 () Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen lauded Usman Khawaja for his exceptional century during the second day of the first Test of Ashes 2023 and said his jubilant celebration after scoring a ton signified the immense value of this moment for the Australian opener.
Khawaja scored a magnificent unbeaten score of 126 to mark his 15th career century, and notably, his first in Test ton on English soil. The opener put together decent partnerships with Travis Head, Cameron Green and Alex Carey to help Australia back towards first-innings parity and gained the upper hand on the second day of play on Saturday.
His remarkable performance played a crucial role in Australia’s day-end total of 311/5, with a deficit of 82 runs and five wickets still in hand.
“Oh, you just saw that with the celebration. He wanted to show that celebration again and again because an Ashes hundred means so much to the players. You can see how much it meant to him as well,” Pietersen told Sky Sports.
Pietersen further emphasized that every player has to deliver exceptional performances away from home in order to be considered a well-rounded batsman.
“It’s for all foreign players. When you travel abroad, you wanna pick up runs, and you wanna be, at the end of your career, known as a player who could score all around the world,” the former England skipper said.
“To be that complete player, Australian, English, South African, Indian, West Indian player, whoever, you really wanna be known at the end of your career that you’ve done it in all conditions. For him, to tick the box here today in Birmingham is something that will give him great relief,” he added.