David Warner guided Australia to an emphatic eight-wicket victory with a half-century in the final innings of the third Test against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday. The Australian team secured a 3-0 whitewash for the hosts. This win also marked the conclusion of Warner's Test cricket career. As the veteran opener bid farewell to Test cricket and the fans at the SCG, Usman Khawaja, his fellow opening batter and childhood friend, shared insights into the special bond between Warner and his mother.
After concluding Day 3 at 68 for seven in the second innings, Pakistan were eventually bowled out for just 115. The star spinner Nathan Lyon picked two wickets and captain Pat Cummins taking another. In pursuit of 130, Australia saw the early dismissal of Khawaja for a duck, but Warner and Labuschagne formed a century partnership. Although Labuschagne seemed poised to score the winning run, he was dismissed one over before concluding the proceedings. Following the match, Warner embraced Khawaja's mother, a moment captured in a viral picture on social media. The 37-year-old disclosed the shared emotional bond between them.
"He (Warner) is hugging my mom, she loves him a lot. Honestly, I just enjoyed batting with him, he attacked the ball, let me play my game," he said. “My mum loves him. She calls him Shaytan. Devil. Satan. My mum loved the fact that he was the devil. And it wasn't her son that she could just push it back to Lorraine and Howard [Warner's parents],” Khawaja said.
Test cricket is a tough place: Usman Khawaja
In the midst of discussions about Steve Smith potentially opening for Australia following Warner's departure, Khawaja acknowledged that it would be challenging to fill the void left by the legendary Australian batter. He also said that opening in Test match crickets is a different job altogether and requires special skill.
"Be yourself, you can't try to be someone else, you just can't go out and strike in the 70s (when asked if Warner can be replaced seamlessly). Test cricket is a tough place, you go out and do it your own way," he added.