Khawaja 'comfortable' facing spin in India

Usman Khawaja has played 33 Tests for Australia but has never cemented his place in the top order.
Usman Khawaja has played 33 Tests for Australia but has never cemented his place in the top order.

Usman Khawaja has found his comfort zone against subcontinent spin, posting a maiden first-class century in India as his Australia A teammates crumbled around him.

The 31-year-old's spin demons were nowhere to be seen as the Queensland captain saved the tourists on day one of their four-day match against India A with a timely knock of 127 from 228 balls.

The left-handed batsman has struggled on subcontinent pitches, averaging just 14.62 at Test level.

But years of hard work to fine tune his technique against spin started paying dividends during his English county stint with Glamorgan recently.

"I've worked pretty hard over the last three or four years for subcontinent conditions or wickets that are turning," Khawaja said.

"I had a few wickets in England that were quite spin friendly when I was over there for county cricket.

"I felt really comfortable over there just giving myself options to score and having a positive mindset."

Khawaja looked at home on the Bangalore wicket on Sunday (AEST), scoring more than half of Australia A's modest total of 243.

"Once you get in it's a very nice wicket," he said.

"Obviously, I haven't played in Test matches here but I've played a few tour games.

"I've played a lot in the Indian Premier League and been around players from the subcontinent.

"It's always more rewarding when you do well in different conditions."

The opener's big innings to help press his case for selection in the upcoming tour against Pakistan would have been cut short without a crucial lower-order contribution from Marnus Labuschagne (60).

"We would have loved to get a couple more partnerships," Khawaja said.

"When you get a partnership it starts to feel easy. It's very India.

"(If) you lose one wicket, you can lose wickets in clusters.

"We'll need to bowl well tomorrow. Hopefully, we can bowl well and ... get a lead in the first innings."

Khawaja and Labuschagne both fell to seamer Mohammed Siraj, who tore through the tourists to finish with 8-59 from 19.3 overs.

India A's openers cruised to 41 without loss before stumps.

Australian Associated Press