The 33-year-old claimed that he was speaking up for everyone in the team
Australia’s senior batsman Usman Khawaja, in a phone conversation from his home in Brisbane with The Sydney Morning Herald, explained why he spoke up after a new documentary on Amazon Prime brought to light a heated confrontation between Australian coach Justin Langer and top-order batsman Usman Khawaja, before a Test match against Pakistan in 2018.
The 33-year-old claimed that he was speaking up for everyone in the team.
“I was just speaking up for the team. I've never been the 'yes man' type, but I also don't want to speak unless it's really prudent, especially when the coach or a senior player is speaking,” Khawaja said. “I'll only really speak when I feel strongly about something, and I pick and choose a lot of my battles. It probably came across in the documentary that I spoke up for a couple of things but it was only because I felt personally very strongly about them.”
The batsman claimed that he had never walked around eggshells with the management but felt voicing his opinion was necessary in the circumstances.
“I was just speaking up for the team. I never walked around on eggshells with JL or I rarely did because I didn't really sit up in the viewing box much anyway even before I batted. I sat downstairs in the change room ... it's just what I do,” he said. “Unfortunately, we had a very quiet group and a lot of the guys spoke up to Painey about what happened but then when Painey brought it up [with Langer], no one wanted to speak up. I remember [Travis Head] speaking up and I was like 'I'm not going to let the guy who's only played three Test matches speak up, one of the senior players has got to speak up'. I was just speaking for the team, I wasn't necessarily speaking for myself on that occasion whereas the first one [in Dubai] was directly for myself as to how I want to be preparing to play.”
Australia’s batsman Aaron Finch claimed that he wanted a proper representation of the behind-the-scenes part of the team in the critically acclaimed documentary.
“I just wrote back and said 'yep, go for it',” Finch said. “I was pretty clear on that from the start. I'd rather it be under-edited than over. Whether it's a blow-up or a confrontation between captain and coach or players, I think that's really important because you want to get what's real out there. The more vulnerability the better.”