Justin Langer believes number seven batting slot is perfect for Glenn Maxwell

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Glenn Maxwell.

Australia coach Justin Langer is hoping that Glenn Maxwell’s performance in the second ODI against India will end all debate surrounding his batting position in the limited-overs squad.

Maxwell dazzled with a 37-ball 48 while batting at No7 in the Adelaide clash which India eventually won by six wickets. The right-hander’s entertaining cameo lower down the order has Langer convinced about his long-term suitability in a finishing role.

“I remember the days when Michael Clarke used to bat seven and Michael Hussey used to bat seven,” Langer told reporters after the second ODI.

“I used to muck around with Huss (Hussey) saying, ‘mate, you have got the best job in the world, you never bat, you get paid a fortune but you never bat because the team is going so well’.

“But when Maxi can come in an put the finishing touches on like he does, for me it’s the perfect position.”

There have been calls to push Maxwell up the batting order after he was afforded only five deliveries to bat in the first ODI at Sydney but Langer feels that the 30-year-old is best suited to add the finishing touches in the dying overs.

Langer feels Maxwell will be crucial to Australia's World Cup hopes.

Langer feels Maxwell will be crucial to Australia’s World Cup hopes.

“He has been captain of the (Melbourne) Stars, he has got good leadership qualities as well,” Langer stated.

“So if he can come in and put the finishing touches on like he does, it’s always a nervous time for an opposition when you still know you have got a Glenn Maxwell or a Mike Hussey coming in down at seven.

“Maxy will be a very important part of our team if we’re to win the World Cup.”

While maintaining that the No7 spot was ideal for Maxwell, Langer has kept the option of shuffling his batting position around as a ‘floater’ open.

“I honestly think, despite the debate, that is his best spot in our team for us at the moment and we’ll flick him in (earlier) every now and then when we need a little cameo,” the Aussie coach explained.

Australia and India are currently level at 1-1 in the three-match ODI series and will meet in the decider at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Friday.

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Australia skipper Aaron Finch remaining calm despite miserable batting form

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Finch's batting woes continue unabated.

It has been a season to forget so far with the bat for Aaron Finch but the Australia ODI skipper is trying his utmost best to not let that poor form affect his captaincy on the field.

Finch has been woefully out of form with the bat all Australian summer with his dry patch extending to the ongoing ODI series against India. The right-hander was able to muster only 57 runs from three innings in the recent ODI series loss to South Africa and has been able to add only 12 runs to that tally in the first two matches against India.

Finch had not fared any better in the Test format either and was dropped from the Australia squad after garnering only 97 runs in three matches against India.

The scrutiny on his poor batting form has increased greatly following Australia’s six-wicket loss to India in the second ODI at Adelaide but Finch remains determined to not let it hamper his leadership of the limited-overs squad.

“It’s always tough when you’re not getting runs personally,” the Aussie skipper stated after his side’s loss at Adelaide on Tuesday.

Finch has paled in comparison to his India counterpart Kohli.

Finch has paled in comparison to his India counterpart Kohli.

“Batting’s separate to captaincy and leading out on the field. It’s about everyone trying to learn together and trying to get the best out of the players on the field.

“Obviously that can be a bit easier when you’re scoring runs and leading by example, but there’s other times when it doesn’t always work out for you, so you have to be consistent with your actions and the way that you go about it.”

After being dismissed for six runs in both his innings so far in the ongoing series, Finch will be itching to rediscover his best when Australia take on India in the decider at Melbourne on Friday. The two sides are currently locked at 1-1 in the three-match series with India’s Adelaide win cancelling out Australia’s 34-victory in the opener at Sydney.

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Virat Kohli seeks superpower status for India in Test arena

Sudhir Gupta 16/01/2019
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Kohli seeks further red-ball glory for India.

Virat Kohli and his men might be currently chasing an ODI series win against Australia but it is domination in the Test arena which is the most burning desire for the India skipper.

Earlier this month, Kohli’s men scripted history by becoming the first ever Indian side to win a Test series on Australian soil. Following his side’s 2-1 win over Tim Paine’s men in the four-match series, Kohli had gone as far to hail the victory as more important to him than the 2015 ICC World Cup crown clinched by India.

That historic series win has only served to further whet the appetite for red-ball cricket success for Kohli who is now aiming for an extensive period of India domination in the Test format.

“I wouldn’t say goal but I would rather speak of a vision, which is for India to be a superpower in Test cricket or a very, very strong side in Test cricket in the years to come,” Kohli told Star Sports in an interview.

“I think if Indian cricket respects Test cricket, and Indian players respect Test cricket, then Test cricket will stay at the top because of the fan base that we have all over the world.

Test success remains the most important for Kohli.

Test success remains the most important for Kohli.

“If we focus too much on shorter formats – yes, they’re important – but if we solely focus and look at them as an escape or an excuse to not be in the kind of situations that Test cricket presents to you, then there’ll start being a mental problem with the cricketers coming up.”

The win over Australia strengthened India’s grip at the top of the Test rankings table with Kohli himself cementing his position as the number one batsman in the world. The 29-year-old superstar now wants the existing team culture to be passed on to future generations of India’s Test setup.

“As long as you’re willing to wake up every morning for five days and do the hard yards and go do the dirty work – if you’re willing to bat for two hours and not score a run for the team – that is what people should prepare (for),” Kohli stated.

“That will require the team to lay out certain things that needs to be done and for the next lot to keep following. So, the next lot that comes in, they have to maintain that vision and then the people coming in will follow.

“I hope that continues and I will try my level best for as long as I can to keep that culture going.”

For now, Kohli will turn his immediate attention to the ODI series decider against Australia with the team teams currently locked at 1-1. The third and final match of the series will take place at Melbourne on Friday.

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