Australia’s comeback ODI series win in India has been nothing short of surreal given the recent form of the Australian white ball team. After losing the first two matches, Australia was staring down the barrel of a whitewash defeat at the hands of one of the best teams in the world.
However, with the number one ranked test bowler Pat Cummins leading the way, the Aussies pulled off a spirited comeback, giving Australian fans hope for the World Cup this year. Unfortunately, it also means the selectors will be faced with several dilemmas when picking a white ball squad for the tournament in England.
Cummins to spearhead the bowling
Selectors will be hoping that Cummins can continue his redhot form, which saw him top the tournament wicket count with 14 wickets at 15.71. No Australia bowler has had such a successful five-match series on Indian soil. Consistent injury clouds hanging over Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood mean that Cummins could well be Australia’s spearhead bowler in the World Cup.
Khawaja’s form complicates the batting lineup
Khawaja’s two centuries saw him named man of the series and an incredible return to form for the Aussie batsman, who had an Australian summer to forget against India. However, many would have thought that Khawaja and another batsman would have made way for the return of Smith and Warner in the World Cup squad. Handscomb also scored his maiden ODI century (117*) during the series and followed it up with an important half century in the final ODI. Likewise, Ashton Turner came from nowhere to deliver a match-turning 84* in the fourth ODI, meaning his name could well be in squad discussions.
Will Finch still be in the squad?
Ironically, Australia has gone from having no batting depth to suddenly a plethora of suitable batting options. What further complicates the lineup is the lack of form of skipper and opener, Aaron Finch. Finch managed a gritty 93 during the series; however, he also recorded two ducks and has struggled in white-ball cricket in the last several months.
He has been selected for the upcoming UAE ODI tour, where he will surely need to show something to selectors to warrant selection for the World Cup.