Having read more about Australia's second-string batting that actually seen it, it was good to get an eyeful of Khawaja and Ferguson for as long as it lasted, and for the briefest of reacquaintances with Phil Hughes.
Sometimes second-string has the feel of second-string, and sometimes it has the feel of the next generation testing each other out for the first time. Shazad might be bowling at Khawaja for some years yet. The most striking thing about Khawaja was that he had the one commodity all batsmen want - time. The cameras and commentators picked up on his first couple of balls from Tremlett, a snorter of a short one that he swayed away from and a second that he pulled a long way in front of square, but what was really telling were the first couple from Shazad, who was hurrying the other lefties. Shazad's first ball to him started outside leg and swung across Khawaja, who seemed to have been waiting for it for a couple of minutes by the time it hit his bat. It's a priceless commodity to have. He can play.
Ferguson had less about him. He has Eoin Morgan's first class average, but not Morgan's x-factor. Hughes remains a brilliant oddity, a counter-intuitive player who has got as far as he's got on talent and confidence. What he needs now is the pro's pragmatism, because he still has the feel of an avatar, someone who, like Morgan, can reinvent the game. Just not on green wickets.
Shazad was the big find for England. Patently fitter and stronger than Tremmers and Gough-esque of attitude, he can move the ball at pace a la Simon Jones. He should play a Test or two before the series is out.
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