Usman Khawaja supports the way David Warner has consistently prioritized others before himself in his role with the Australian team.

Usman Khawaja suggests that David Warner sacrificed his own reputation for the benefit of the Australian cricket team, and never truly desired to be the aggressive attack dog he was portrayed as.

However, Khawaja takes solace in the fact that Warner is now playing the game he loves in the manner he always wanted, as he graces the Test pitch for the final time.

In the first innings of his last Test, Warner was caught at slip for 34, after edging a ball from spinning allrounder Agha Salman that gripped and bounced.

“During this series, he has been batting exceptionally well,” Khawaja commented. “Today, he simply fell victim to an exceptional delivery, which is something you have to accept at times.”

As Warner left the field, he reprimanded himself for not making better use of the favorable SCG wicket, but received a standing ovation from the home crowd.

This warm reception is a far cry from the previous public opinions of Warner, who has always been a divisive figure, even before his involvement in the ball-tampering controversy of 2018.

Warner earned the nickname “bull” for his relentless aggression towards opposition teams, both with his batting and his words.

His approach to the game epitomized the win-at-all-costs mentality that was exposed in the Australian cricket team during the post-sandpapergate cultural review.

However, Khawaja, who has known Warner since they were young, says that his opening partner never intended to be cast as the villain of the piece.

“For a long time, he was confrontational and acted in a certain manner,” reflected Khawaja on his friend’s career. “But that wasn’t the true Davey.”

“He was also instructed to play in a specific way by the coaching staff and others at certain times.

He is a true team player, and if you ask him to do something, he will do it for the team. That’s what frustrates me when people criticize him.

He always puts the team first and himself second.”

After serving his one-year ban following the ball-tampering scandal, Warner distanced himself from the “bull” persona.

Since then, Khawaja has been encouraged to witness his friend’s authentic character emerge.

“Since his return, you have seen a different side of Davey Warner,” Khawaja noted. “He has scored runs his own way and played the game in a positive manner.

You can see that he’s enjoying himself on the field, playing the game the way Davey Warner knows how, and it’s been fantastic to witness in the latter stages of his career.”

That’s why Khawaja became emotional when discussing his friend’s impending retirement and the reception he received, as they shared the crease possibly for the last time.

“It’s heartwarming to see people embracing him because I genuinely believe that he deserves it,” Khawaja expressed. “It’s definitely going to be sad, as we won’t get to play together again after this.

Just thinking about it now brings back memories of the journey we’ve been on, and it’s quite an emotional thought.

But it’s not the end of our lives, and hopefully, we’ll have plenty more time together, whether it’s on the golf course or commentating, or whatever the future holds. I’m confident there are more good times ahead.”

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