Match Turner: Rookie Steers Aussies To Highest Ever Run Chase
Dare we dream? Is Australia turning into a genuine World Cup threat?
We might just be in with a shot in England later this year after all, after a stunning win against India overnight, in what was Australia's highest ever One Day run chase.
The Aussies chased down India's total of 9/358 with ease in the end, reaching 6/359 with 13 balls to spare. For that, several Aussies can take a bow.
Pat Cummins restricted what looked like a monstrous Indian score with five wickets. Peter Handscomb made his maiden One Day ton, and Usman Khawaja chipped in again, with a handy 91 at the top of the order.
But the man who sealed this victory was Ashton Turner -- a 24-year-old West Australian Big Bash specialist playing just his second One Day International -- who scored an incredible 84 off 43 to secure victory.
Turner has made his name in the past couple of seasons as a finisher in the BBL. The stats show that no man scores more runs, and scores them more quickly in the crucial last five overs of Big Bash cricket than Turner.
But standing in for the injured Marcus Stoinis, could Turner take his end-of-innings explosiveness from Australian T20 cricket to a One Dayer in India? He could. And how.
Turner peeled off six sixes in his knock, accelerating to score his final 68 runs off just 29 balls.
Australia is now 2-2 in a five-match series in which they lost the first two matches pretty meekly. Embarrassingly, our blokes have not won a One Day series anywhere in the world since early 2017. Indeed, they've won just 10 of their last 35 ODIs.
But this is a squad gathering form at the right time, and which looks a far cry from the limp outfit which lost the season-opening One Day series to South Africa pretty meekly back in November.
Australia are, of course, the defending champs going into the World Cup, which happens in late May through to mid-July. And while we're not favourites -- those would be India and England -- we're suddenly looking like a team brimming with options, especially with the imminent return of Smith and Warner.
As for India, their fans were not happy. They booed wicket keeper Rishabh Pant when he missed two stumpings, and were deathly silent as the Aussie victory became ever likelier.
The deciding match is on Wednesday, and the match scorecard is here.