Ashton Turner smashed 84 off 43 balls to pull off a remarkable chase of 359 in the fourth ODI in Mohali. As the teams gear up for the fifth match in New Delhi on Wednesday, Australia vice-captain Alex Carey is confident of sealing a series win after winning four out of six games during their limited overs tour of India.
“We were put under pressure early in the series. It is obviously really exciting going into tomorrow with the series on the line,” Carey was quoted as saying by AFP on Tuesday.
“Obviously (we are taking) some momentum from the last game. The boys are feeling confident,” he said.
Australia swept the two-match Twenty20 series and have now posted two 300-plus scores in two games, which is a big boost in the lead-up to the World Cup.
Apart from Turner, captain Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb have contributed with the bat and Carey said it is difficult to pick a standout performer.
“I think if you look across the board everyone has performed at times. For Usman Khawaja, to back up his hundred with a score of 90 (91) was impressive to see,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said.
“I can go across the whole side and say that everyone’s improving.”
Carey said Australia’s recent performances raise hopes of an even better outcome once Steve Smith and David Warner join the side.
“Those are definitely some big names that might come back into the line. It’s only healthy for Australian cricket that the guys in the side are playing well and these guys that have done really well in the past have definitely put their hand up for selection when they are available,” said Carey.
“We are really confident moving with the squad we take whoever that is to the World Cup that is going to perform. We have obviously got tomorrow to focus on” he added.
Durham have signed Australia batsman D’Arcy Short for this season’s Vitality Blast.
The 28-year-old, who has played four one-day internationals and 20 Twenty20s for his country, will arrive at the Emirates Riverside in July.
Short is Durham’s second overseas player for this campaign, following in the footsteps of compatriot Cameron Bancroft.
Short, the Player of the Tournament and leading scorer in the last two seasons of Australia’s Big Bash League, said: “I can’t wait to get over to Durham and play some cricket, playing in England is something that I have wanted to do for a while and I’m very excited to get started.
“It’s very much a new experience for me and a challenge to play on some different grounds, wickets, pitches and against some new bowlers.”
Steve Smith and David Warner were both left out of Australia‘s squad for the upcoming ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE even though they are eligible for the final two games following the expiry of their ball-tampering bans.
Smith missed the Bangladesh Premier League to undergo an elbow surgery in January. He began batting in Sydney last week. Warner also returned from the BPL after injuring his elbow, which required surgery. However, Warner’s injury is said to be less serious than that of Smith.
Smith and Warner were suspended for one year for their role in the ball-tampering episode in South Africa. That ban is to expire on March 28, which made them available from the fourth ODI onwards.
Despite limited time available before the World Cup in England in late May, Australian selectors decided to pick the same 15-man squad currently in India.
Selector Trevor Hohns said after talks with coach Justin Langer, it was decided to allow Smith and Warner to work their way back to top-level cricket during the Indian Premier League which starts on March 23.
“While their bans will finish on March 28, Steve and David have been working through rehabilitation from elbow surgery and it has been agreed the best pathway for them to return to play is in the Indian Premier League,” he said.
“David will play with Sunrisers Hyderabad and Steve with Rajastan Royals. Cricket Australia will continue to liaise with both Steve, David and their IPL clubs to monitor progress as we build towards the World Cup and the Ashes,” he added.
Meanwhile, fast bowler Mitchell Starc was also not selected after failing to recover from a pectoral muscle injury picked up during the second Test against Sri Lanka in Canberra.
Hohns is happy with the way the current ODI squad is performing and developing.
“The squad is making pleasing progress ahead of the World Cup, and with three matches remaining in India and the five-match series against Pakistan to come, we believe they will benefit further from the continuity of playing together,” said Hohns.
Australia play the first of five one-dayers against Pakistan on March 22 in Sharjah.
Squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa