I got up early this morning to watch Usman Khawaja bat for New South Wales against Victoria in the Big Bash and was not disappointed.
Khawaja scored 68 from 43 balls and barely lifted a shot off the ground until he was caught. He was up against a good attack too, with Peter Siddle, Dirk Nannes and Andrew MacDonald in the opposition, but it was an exemplary effort that saw his team ultimately triumph in a close finish.
What I especially liked, besides the lack of real risk, was his use of the pace of the ball, with deft late cuts accounting for a number of runs. There was an audacious ramp down to fine leg too, while the speed at which he picks up length leaves bowlers little margin for error.
He has a lot of time to play his shots, always the sign of a good player, and looks in command of his game at present. He is essentially correct with a good technique, but his bat has the flourish of a player with above average gifts.
In short, his performance totally justified the positive response by the fans. However many runs the player makes this season, you can rest assured that they will be made with a bat that moves like a wand in the hands of a magician.
If he does get to grips with the different surfaces quickly, there will be some serious entertainment down Derby way.