Behind-the-scenes footage from last year’s Cricket World Cup shows Usman Khawaja breaking down in tears during Australia’s series-defining loss to South Africa.
Khawaja does not come across as an emotional person, which has worked against the left-handed batsman. Cricket legend Shane Warne ridiculed Khawaja in November for lacking motivation, applauding national selectors for axing the Queenslander.
“Throughout his Test career, he always seems to do just enough. Sometimes you just want to shake him and get him to show a bit more,” Warne wrote in the Herald Sun.
“Different personalities make up the team and some people aren’t as exuberant and emotional as others, but he can be better, particularly with his body language.”
The eight-episode series features behind-the-scenes footage of the Australian cricket team following the infamous ball-tampering saga.
Australia’s one-day squad travelled to England in May 2019 for the World Cup, and started the tournament superbly, winning seven of their first eight group stage matches.
A win over South Africa in Manchester would secure top spot on the ladder, but more importantly, they would avoid a semi-final against tournament favourites England.
Khawaja was the glue for Australia’s middle order — he knew how to build an innings, and provided appropriate support for destructive opening batsmen David Warner and Aaron Finch.
Chasing 326 for victory, Khawaja joined Warner at the crease after captain Finch departed early in the innings.
When Warner guided a delivery from Imran Tahir to short fine leg, Khawaja sprinted through for a single, and suddenly felt a sharp pain in his leg.
“It came out of absolutely nowhere,” Khawaja said on The Test.
“As soon as it happened, I knew, ‘Oh s**t, I’m cooked here’.”
Khawaja had strained his hamstring, and could no longer run. After consulting the team physio, he made his way off the ground, his World Cup campaign in tatters.
“I honestly can’t remember being that disappointed coming off a cricket field ever in my life,” Khawaja said.
“Walking off the field like that and not being out just feels like you’ve let your team down straight away.”