LeBron James inspires Khawaja fitness push


Australia batsman Usman Khawaja has taken inspiration from NBA star LeBron James to get himself into peak physical condition for the demands of the longest format of the game.

Khawaja has just recovered from a serious knee injury in time to be fit for the first of four Tests against India, starting at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.

The 32-year-old revealed that he had already embarked on his fitness regime before the injury that he picked up in the UAE.

Khawaja told RSN radio: “That was probably one part of my game and place that I wanted to work hard on and make sure I was in the right physical shape for international cricket.

“Training, playing, travelling. I don’t think people realise how much actually goes into the international schedule.”

“I just wanted to make sure that I was the best version of myself. One of my favourite athletes, LeBron James, does that as well as anyone else.

“I had a good Ashes campaign but I just felt like it was something I needed to work on at the time. I just started chipping away at it.

“I was actually really surprised with how well I was pulling up after games. Losing weight doesn’t help you particularly score runs. It doesn’t make you a better batter.

“It’s about the other little things. Being in the field, recovering, running between the wickets.”

The Aussies still have to decide where Khawaja will slot into the batting order for the first Test against India.

With the uncapped opener Marcus Harris in the squad it is assumed that the left-handed Khawaja will bat in the number three spot.

Khawaja went on: “I love batting No. 3 because you often get a little rest, little breather, put your pads on nice and easy, watch the openers scurry off.

“But it doesn’t make a difference whatsoever.”