Home » Khawaja declares ‘nothing to see’ in Smith run-out tirade

Khawaja declares ‘nothing to see’ in Smith run-out tirade

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After smiling his way through some of the toughest conditions he’d batted on to make a crucial 71, with balls doing “random” things on a dusty pitch in Galle, Khawaja and Cameron Green put Australia in the driver’s seat in the first test with a lead of 101 and two first innings wickets in hand at the end of day two.Smith attracted criticism for his pointed response to being dismissed on the opening day, his reaction including raising his arms and muttering towards Khawaja after his unsuccessful dive to get in left him filthy and fuming.Watch Australia’s Tour of Sri Lanka. Every T20, ODI and Test Match Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >His sullen look in the change rooms after making just six was the look of a man a little more than just upset with opinions divided on who was to blame.But Khawaja, who smiled through some of the toughest conditions he’d ever batted in to make 71 as Australia powered into a dominant position in Galle, said there was no fallout with Smith who looms as a key man should Australia have to bat again to win.“He did look annoyed but there’s nothing really to report,” the 35-year-old said.“There’s not really too much to it, we are both professional cricketers, stuff that you don’t plan happens and you just move on and push on, you are always looking to the future, If you look to the past that doesn’t really help anyone. “Khawaja made his seventh test half-century in 10 innings since being recalled during the Ashes but it was a “courageous” 77 from Green that really put Australia in a position to win a first Test in Sri Lanka since 2011.“Took a lot of courage the way he batted, he came out and played a sweep shot straight away, and it’s not easy out there,” he said.“That wicket is extremely tough, one of the toughest wickets I’ve played on. I just kept trying to help him, give him the right messaging to keep him going for what I thought was the right plan on the wicket and most of it was about intent.“Then he’s the one who has to actually do it and he executed beautifully, he’s coming down the crease, sweeping. Where he’s at right now in his game for 23-year-old kids, it’s way beyond where any of us were in the sub-continent at 20.The two Australian half-centuries could in fact be match winners with Khawaja blown away by just how difficult batting was.With a 100-run lead already in the bank and more to come on day three, Khawaja was adamant his team had potentially outdone itself with the bat, and only needed to take advantage of the deteriorating pitch with the ball to get that ultimate reward.“My God that wicket, it just ragged. Day one it was unbelievable, day two, I mean the guys batted extremely well to get 300,” he said“I was laughing with the boys. I think we scored 230 or 240 last time we were here for the whole game (Australia scored 289 in 2016). We’re one step ahead on that one.“Because the game moves so quickly in Galle, you lose wickets in clumps, but you score quickly too.“It’s just the way the wicket plays and that games have always been played out here.”Green steadies Aussie ship as wild winds wreak havoc Cameron Green traveled to Sri Lanka hoping this trip would be “the one” where he pushed on to that breakthrough Test century having got close without climbing that triple-figure wall in his fledgling career in a baggy green.That might yet be the case but the 23-year-old emerging superstar will have to wait one more innings, despite defying devilish conditions and a chaotic start to score a team-high 77 for Australia to put his team in the driver’s seat after a tumultuous second day in Galle.Green’s fifth half-century steered Australia to 8-313 at stumps, a lead of 101, aided by some late lusty hitting from captain Pat Cummins, who hit one of three huge sixes out of the ground.The collapse of a temporary grandstand amid wild monsoon season winds delayed the start of play by nearly four hours, leaving the Australians marooned in their change rooms to ponder the difficulty awaiting them.Stewing under covers for an extra few hours an already dicey pitch which was exploited by Australia’s spinners on the opening day and when Travis Head fell seven balls into day two the chaotic pre-match turbulence looked like being reflected on field.But a crucial 57-run partnership between Usman Khawaja, who passed 50 for the seventh time in 10 Test innings since his recall during the Ashes, and Sri Lankan first-timer Green navigated seriously challenging times from the home spinners and put the Australian ship back on course.Khawaja’s dismissal for 71 brought Alex Carey to the crease and he put his plan of reverse and regulation sweeps against the spinners in to action taking Australia past Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 212 just five wickets down Carey was out for a rapid fire 45 after putting on a massive 84-run partnership with Green leaving the younger batter to try and punch towards a big enough score that Australia could hope to be chasing a low total to win batting fourth on a pitch deteriorating by the ball.Before the game Green, growing more and more comfortable with his place in the Australian team, declared he wanted to get the monkey of scoring his first test hundred off his back, having passed 50 four times through his first 18 innings without going on before arriving in Sri Lanka. “I think everyone always wants to get that first one to kind of get out of the way and when you can kind of go about your business,” Green said.“It’s kind of like getting your first test wicket, it kind of took me a while. It’s just something I’d like to get so you can tick off. I have been close a few times and hopefully this trip can be the one.”Green, who endured his first sub-continental experience in Pakistan in March, was readying himself for the “extreme” wickets like the one produced in Galle which turned from dry to dusty in a matter of hours and not days.Steve’s Smith day one run out was the only Australian wicket not to fall to spin after Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Swepson took eight for the visitors, making it clear batting last, chasing even a low score, wouldn’t be easy. “You can kind of see how, how extreme the wickets can get here, and it’s probably something you’ve got to expect,” he said.“I’m kind of excited about it. I think it’s like a really good challenge because you know, it’s gonna be really tough. But I think a lot of guys in this group kind of look forward to that.“It’s kind of nice chasing 250 instead of 400 maybe. And you know the wickets are tough for both teams. Hopefully we’ve got the skill set and the team to get the job done.”On arrival at the ground the Australians had been greeted by the collapsed stand after the wild winds caused havoc with several glass panels smashing and other temporary seating abandoned while the Australian players looked on from their dressing rooms.Cloth sight screens on temporary scaffolding were also taken down and would have to be reinstalled for play to begin, with TV cameras also impacted, prompting the Australians, who had been isolated in their change room for nearly three hours, to get on their team bus ready to return to their hotel. But that decision changed as officials moved to get the game started despite alerts for dangerously high winds in and around the Galle stadium, which is bordered on its east and west by the Indian Ocean.The wind was so strong the squally rain that was falling didn’t have time to hit the ground as it was swept sideways towards the ocean. But the winds subsided in the early afternoon allowing play to get underway with two sessions completed just before darkness enveloped the ground.
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