Before the fourth ODI against India, Australia had never successfully chased down a target of more than 334 in ODI history. That just changed. What makes the feat all the more incredible is Australia’s recent string of ODI performances, which have been some of the worst in ODI history. Quite astoundingly, Australia has now levelled the five match series at 2-2 with a decider to play, after having been 2-0 down earlier in the series.
Handscomb stands tall
Australia’s heroics with the bat can largely be attributed to Handscomb’s maiden ODI century. The Victorian belted a clinical 117, who came to the crease with Australia in a precarious position of 2-12. It seemed Australia was destined for another ODI series loss. However, Handscomb rallied with Usman Khawaja to put on a match-defining 192 run partnership.
It seems Khawaja may have rekindled some form with the bat, having scored his maiden ODI century in the previous match. He was dismissed for 91, falling just short of consecutive ODI hundreds in India.
Finch goes early again
There continues to be much debate surrounding Aaron Finch’s position in the squad, which is made more complicated given he is the current captain of the side. He was dismissed for a two-ball duck – a disappointing follow-up to his gritty 93 in the third ODI. Whether he can find some consistency before the World Cup in England later this year remains to be seen. Maxwell was also well contained (23) by the Indians, particularly given his recent form.
Ashton Turner shocks the cricket world
While Handscomb led from the front with a defiant 100, it was Turner’s brutal hitting late in the innings that ultimately got Australia over the line. When the Western Australian arrived at the crease, Australia still required 88 from 53 balls. His composure was simply incredible, as he steered Australia to victory with a handy 13 balls to spare, chipping in with a sublime 84 off just 43 balls.
Ironically, Turner was only recalled to the squad to replace the injured Marcus Stoinis. Turner was expected to be running drinks for the side. Australian fans can only hope that these performances are indicative of a rise in form for the team.