Usman Khawaja departs for India after visa approval
Australia’s best batter, Usman Khawaja, flew to India on Thursday after getting his visa approved.
Overnight on Wednesday, the paperwork came in, and Cricket Australia says that Khawaja will definitely leave on Thursday.
The left-hander will join the rest of the team in Bengaluru, where they are training at facilities in Alur, before moving to Nagpur for the first Test next week.
Over the next few days, the players will get used to the subcontinental conditions. The series is likely to be played in mostly spin-friendly conditions.
The batter from Pakistan was the only member of Australia’s team who did not get on the plane because his visa did not arrive in time.
Since 1947, when they were split up, relations between Pakistan and India have been tense, and these problems often show up in sports.
Ten years have passed since the last bilateral series between India and Pakistan, and Pakistani players are no longer allowed to play in the prestigious T20 Indian Premier League.
Khawaja has been to India more than once, including during the Test tours in 2013 and 2017. The left-hander also had trouble getting a visa when he went to India for the T20 Champions League in 2011. At the time, he called it a “administrative quirk.”
Khawaja, who is 36 years old, won the Shane Warne award as Australia’s men’s Test player of the year on Monday. During the past year, he scored 1,020 runs at an average of 78.46 runs per game.
The first Test between these two teams will start on February 9 in Nagpur.
After the first game in Nagpur, Australia will play Tests in New Delhi, Dharamsala, and Ahmedabad, followed by a series of One-Day Internationals (ODIs).
Australia’s team includes captain Pat Cummins, Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, and David Warner.