Khawaja is a Waugh in Hayden’s eyes.

As Usman Khawaja completed his 150 against India at lunch in the fourth Test, former Australia opener Matthew Hayden praised the left-hander and compared him to the late batter Mark Waugh.

Khawaja passed Indian captain Rohit Sharma to become the Border-Gavaskar Trophy’s leading run-getter in 2022/23 after scoring his first Test century in India.

The opening batter went on to score back-to-back half-centuries in the following two games in Delhi and Indore after failing twice in Nagpur. His stellar run has now peaked in this fourth and final Test, where he is currently on 165* in Australia’s first innings.

After lunch on Day 2, Hayden praised Khawaja’s outstanding performance and noted that he is a player who waits patiently and plays with ease.

“Usman Khawaja should be in that 100 Test match category. He’s played 59 Test matches, I reckon that he is 40 short of what it should have been, and that is due to his underwhelming body language. He is similar to someone like Mark Waugh. He was so stylish that the word ‘soft’ was invented. He was so sharp and good, just like Khawaja,” said Hayden.

“He is an individual who bides his time and is a proper opening batter, he is a proper left-hander as well, he plays shots off his pads, waist back in the crease, and plays effortlessly through the covers.

“He makes it look so easy, that when he gets out that he has an appearance that he is soft. And I don’t believe that and have never believed that for a second because you can’t bat for 300 balls and be soft, he is hard as a cat’s head according to me,” he added.

On Day Two of the fourth and final Test against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday, Australia reached 387/7 with Khawaja at the crease at 165* and Cameron Green’s (114) first century.

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