Usman Tariq Khawaja is a Pakistan-born Australian cricketer who, on Thursday, scored his maiden Test century for Australia on Day one of the First Test against New Zealand in Brisbane.
Five years after the 28-year-old batsman made his debut in the baggy green, Khawaja justified his selection and his return to the fold in the best way possible -- letting his bat do the talking as he reached the milestone off just 130 balls.
In 2011, as Australia was being humiliated by a dominant visiting England side, Khawaja was seen as the new hope in the batting lineup. But, perhaps under the weight of unfair expectation, he did not deliver anything out of the ordinary and following a few subsequent appearances over the next two years, was eventually dropped from the national team.
As has often proved to be the case in Australia's cricketing history, time and patience, with the development of maturity in a player with abundant and obvious talent, has served Khawaja, and now Australia, well.
His innings so far has been measured and mature, never giving the Kiwis the hint of a chance and the visitors' bowling was made to look ordinary as a result.
Batting at the much-coveted position of number three, Khawaja came to the crease following the dismissal of Joe Burns at 1/161 after he and David Warner had set a solid foundation for Australia to build on.
Khawaja and Warner then kept the runs flowing as they continued the love affair Australian cricket teams seem to have with the iconic Brisbane ground.
Giving the best possible launch for the new-look team and the new chapter in the evolution of Australian Test cricket both Khawaja and Burns followed the lead of vice captain and opening powerhouse David Warner, who was eventually dismissed for 163.
As the day's play came to an end, Khawaja and his captain Steve Smith looked comfortable at the crease. Finishing with Australia on 2/389, Friday dawns with great anticipation of what Khawaja will make of his 102 not out.Suggest a correction