Strikers v Thunder, BBL semi-final, Adelaide January 21, 2016

Khawaja lauds Thunder's work behind the scenes

Usman Khawaja - ""It was a bit of a helpless feeling and there were times when I thought 'do I want to be in this team still?'" © Getty Images and Cricket Australia

Usman Khawaja believes Sydney Thunder are reaping the rewards of the work of Michael Hussey and general manager Nick Cummins, following his quickfire hundred in the semi-final against Adelaide Strikers. After a horror run in the early years of the BBL, Thunder made their first final, and Khawaja admitted he had once considered his future with the franchise.

"It was tough because you play cricket to win and you're trying your best and that's still not happening," Khawaja said. "It was a bit of a helpless feeling and there were times when I thought 'do I want to be in this team still?' But when Huss came on board I thought we had a really good chance of picking the team up from the bottom. I talked to Huss when he first came on, and I said the Thunder was close to my heart, having grown up in Western Sydney and that we could do this, but it might take a bit of time.

"I think the overall roster has seen a big change and is a lot more balanced now. We have hitters, batsman, pace and spin. A lot has gone on behind the scenes too - Nick Cummins, our GM - has done a lot over the last three years, hiring good people, and there's a good vibe. That's helped the guys on the field - there are a lot of hidden heroes behind the scenes who don't get the congratulations that we do."

Saturday's final, against either Melbourne Stars or Perth Scorchers, will be Hussey's final game in Australia.

Will Macpherson writes on cricket for the Guardian, ESPNcricinfo and All Out Cricket. @willis_macp

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Asad on January 22, 2016, 4:21 GMT

    Khawaja--spectacular display of fine, elegant and classy hitting. It was a treat to watch him last night.

  • Ross on January 22, 2016, 3:29 GMT

    Khawaja has blown me away since he has come back into cricket, best in form batsman in Australia, his technique is very, very good, he seems to score at ease without looking risky, he scores very fast.I would have him and Warne opening in 20/20 and 50 over currently with Marsh 1st reserve, Finch is a good bat but he is more a flat track bully and his technique is not as good as the other 3, he often gets bogged down early and catches up late.

  • Allan on January 22, 2016, 2:31 GMT

    He is averaging 275 this year in t20, please get him in the world cup squad

  • Casey on January 21, 2016, 23:49 GMT

    He deserves a spot in the T20 WC. He is in great form aye and has managed to develop more shots. Definitely earned it and even during Australia A's tour of India, he managed to score some runs.

  • VAIBHAV on January 21, 2016, 17:18 GMT

    Australia now has a problem of plenty ! I would surely pick him in WT20 squad but they have too many openers in their line up . If Smith was a captain of T20 team I would have dropped Finch & picked Khawaja as Finch is overrated & does not scores quickly as others . My team will be : Warner , Khawaja , Smith , Watson ,Maxwell , Lynn/Head , Wade , Faulkner , Hastings ,Richardson , Tait/Lyon

  • Nabeel on January 21, 2016, 14:57 GMT

    great work Khawaja it's a treat to be watching a player like you in this era

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