Usman Khan has sought to break through in a field that throws up fiercer competition than perhaps any other in cricket: strapping left-arm fast bowlers from Pakistan. He first caught the attention of the national selectors when, still a teenager in 2013, he crushed a Misbah-ul-Haq-led SNGPL side in the final of the departmental T20 Cup. In a blazing spell where he seamed and swung the ball prodigiously, Usman picked up five wickets for nine runs in 3.1 overs.
He was given a T20I debut the same year, but failed to replicate his domestic form in international cricket. However, in 2017, he turned back the clock in just his second ODI, scything through the Sri Lankan top order in Sharjah, requiring just 21 balls to complete a five-for and helping skittle them out for 103.
With only a handful of international games to his name, Usman has established himself as an exciting, explosive bowler who can trouble the best of batsmen on his day. His strength is bowling with the new ball from over the wicket, an angle from which he can generate movement across the stumps and trouble both left- and right-hand batsmen. However, in his short time as an international bowler, a troublesome back injury has flared up regularly. How well he can shake it off may go a long way towards determining the sort of international career he can enjoy.