Australia finally win an ODI overseas

Ronan O'Connell Columnist

By Ronan O'Connell, Ronan O'Connell is a Roar Expert

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    Australia finally broke their streak of 11 consecutive ODI losses away from home with a composed victory over India last night.

    For a while it looked as if Australia’s total of 5-334 would not be enough when India’s openers bolted to 0-106 from 18 overs.

    But Australia’s relatively inexperienced pace trio of Kane Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins bowled with discipline through the middle and late overs to halt the Indian charge.

    That was just as well because the Indian batsmen once again demolished Australia’s spinners. Adam Zampa and part-time offie Travis Head together took 1-101 from 15 overs.

    Combined with left arm tweaker Ashton Agar, Australia’s slow bowlers have returned the horrific figures of four wickets at 76 in this series, while conceding a whopping 6.6 runs per over.

    Meanwhile, Coulter-Nile (nine wickets at 23) and Kane Richardson (seven wickets at 22) have been prolific, and although Cummins average of 47 is poor he has been wonderfully tight, giving up just 4.77 runs per over this series.

    Coulter-Nile and Richardson yesterday utilised clever changes of pace to keep the Indian batsmen guessing. By comparison, it was Cummins scorching speed which challenged his opponents – even at the end of his spell he was nudging 150kmh and rushing the batsmen.

    Kane Richardson Australia Cricket ODI 2017

    (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

    While Australia will be relieved to end their run of defeats overseas, it must be remembered this victory came in a dead rubber against an Indian side which was without many key players.

    Most notably, India rested quality opening bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya, and deceptive left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav. As a result, their attack looked far more vulnerable.

    Even still, for the second consecutive match Australia failed to capitalise on a fantastic start to their innings. In the third ODI Australia were in a dominant position at 1-224 before losing 5-51 and finishing with a below par total of 6-293 which India chased easily.

    Yesterday the tourists were even better placed batting first. At 0-231 with 15 overs remaining they were well within reach of making 400 and should not have made any less than 370.

    Then Aaron Finch (94), David Warner (124) and Steve Smith (3) all fell in the space of 14 deliveries. Instead of throwing caution to the wind and accelerating towards a massive total, Australia were left to consolidate, wasting crucial overs at the death.

    Even with a late flourish from Peter Handscomb (43 from 30 balls) and Marcus Stoinis (15no from 9 balls), Australia only reached 5-334, making just 103 runs from their final 15 overs.

    On the bright side, Australia have plenty of reason to be pleased with the batting efforts of Finch, Warner and Handscomb.

    After being in poor form for the best part of two years in ODIs, Finch played wonderfully well yet again after his drought-breaking ton in the previous match. Warner, meanwhile, fired for the first time this series and continued his upward form curve in foreign conditions across all formats.

    His ODI record across the past 18 months has been phenomenal, with 2021 runs at 63, including 10 centuries from just 34 matches.

    David Warner Australia ODI Cricket 2017

    (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

    As for Handscomb, the 26-year-old displayed the versatility which Australia will need from him if he is to become a fixture in the ODI lineup. Batting in the middle order, Handscomb has always appeared suited to steadying an innings after a few wickets, or working the ones and twos while a more aggressive batting partner goes for their shots.

    What was less clear was whether he could play the role of a finisher, coming to the crease in the final 15 overs and accelerating immediately. Yesterday Handscomb accumulated few dot balls and found the boundary when required.

    Australia badly need a middle order batsman who can play the role of either an anchor or a finisher, depending on the circumstances.

    They were previously blessed with players in this mould such as Mike Hussey and Michael Bevan. While Handscomb obviously is a long, long way from going anywhere near equalling their records, he is Australia’s best candidate to at least mimic their styles.

    In the final ODI Australia will have a chance to claw back some respect and Handscomb will have an opportunity to cement his ODI spot.

    Ronan O
    Ronan O'Connell

    Ronan O'Connell has been a journalist for well over 13 years, including nine at daily newspapers in WA. He now traverses the world as a travel photojournalist, contributing words and photography to more than 30 magazines and newspapers including CNN, BBC, The Toronto Star, The Guardian, The South China Morning Post, The Irish Examiner and The Australian Financial Review. Check out his work and follow him on Twitter @ronanoco

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    The Crowd Says (47)

    • September 29th 2017 @ 8:43am
      bazza said | September 29th 2017 @ 8:43am | ! Report

      i DON’T KNOW WHY wade was brought back in was PH that bad with the gloves for an ODI ?

      • September 29th 2017 @ 9:00am
        qwetzen said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:00am | ! Report

        Yes.

    • September 29th 2017 @ 8:59am
      qwetzen said | September 29th 2017 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      Yes, let’s not forget it was a *very* dead rubber.

      I thought Head & Handscombe were terrible when trying to force the pace. They looked very Olden Days, back when fc batsmen couldn’t break out of their fc batting habits in ODIs. And you need batters who can hit the ball over the ropes in ODIs now.

      Yeah, Cummins again looked the business, but it must be a bit of an accumulating worry that he’s not getting wickets.

      Skull on Tony Squires show opined that NCN could bowl 1st change in the Ashes. He’s been ok in this series but I can’t see him getting The Nod ahead of the big four + Richardson, Stanlake, Behrendorff & Sayers. And I can’t even add the proviso; “being fit” as NCN is as fragile as any of them.

      Idle Question: Who was the last Australian fast bowler to have a lengthy *and* injury free career? I’m thinking Bichel or Kasper. Or that big NSW rhfm who appears on Fox occasionally and who’s name completely escapes me.

      And an Idle Fact. Did you know that the ‘Australian Fast Bowler’ character from the comedy tv series ‘skitHouse’ of the early Noughties was Tom Gleason?

      • September 29th 2017 @ 9:22am
        jameswm said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        “that big NSW rhfm who appears on Fox occasionally”

        Glenn McGrath? He has a pretty injury free career.

        Or Stuey Clarke?

        I’m not worried about Cummins not getting wickets in ODIs on flat decks. He is troubling the batsmen, and they are playing him differently. I would rest him from the 5th game and send him home for a few weeks’work, before the Shield season starts.

        • September 29th 2017 @ 9:40am
          qwetzen said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:40am | ! Report

          Bingo. S Clarke. Ta.

          And ‘Yes’ on McGrath. I think you’re a winner.

      • September 29th 2017 @ 9:26am
        Ross said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

        At one point with only 5 overs left head was striking it at 50, am I missing something

        • September 29th 2017 @ 9:40am
          qwetzen said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:40am | ! Report

          Yep. The name of who you’re talking about and what “striking it @ 50” means.

          • September 29th 2017 @ 10:13am
            Ben said | September 29th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

            He was scared he would be dropped like maxwell.
            He also dropped kohli on 5.
            The way saker spoke about maxwell is appalling.
            As if we lost the first 3 games just because of maxwell.
            Picking Cartwright was one of the main reasons.
            If they wanted to pick him he should have came in the middle order.
            As soon as finch came back we started to have a chance.
            Head was no better this series and his bowling wasn’t too impressive.
            Give maxwell 6 overs the next game and try him out.
            He has changed his bowling and has to be given an apportunity.

      • September 29th 2017 @ 6:00pm
        Bakkies said | September 29th 2017 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

        The big difference in the end were the sixes that Stoinis dispatched at the end of the innings. Those runs were valuable.

    • September 29th 2017 @ 9:00am
      Joe Bell said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:00am | ! Report

      Handscomb wasn’t awful but he did drop a catch and atleast to me does not look comfortable enough with the gloves on to be a legitimate option. Potentially just needs to practice more but currently doesn’t seem a good plan. Anything would be better than Wade though.

    • September 29th 2017 @ 9:10am
      AGordon said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      It was good to see Kane Richardson, whom one regular author recently described as ” not being good enough to play club cricket in India” get 3 wickets, including Dhoni and Rahane. I guess that means these guys wouldn’t get a game in club cricket either!

      • Roar Guru

        September 29th 2017 @ 9:24am
        Anindya Dutta said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        That still rankles does it Gordon? 😃 I am always ready to give credit where it’s due and Richardson varied his pace very well in the last 2-3 overs and gave good support to Cummins bowling a superb spell from the other end. With this performance he makes the Club XIV 😜

        • September 29th 2017 @ 11:21am
          AGordon said | September 29th 2017 @ 11:21am | ! Report

          These guys work hard to get to where they are and in Australia, there are only a few hundred good enough to play at first class level. For anyone to then say they’re not good enough to play at a level several tiers below first class level either has zero idea about what playing first class cricket entails or has a bias which clouds their judgement.

          Richardson is not and never will be a superstar but he’s worth his place in first class cricket and has proven this in Australia. He’s probably as suited to Indian conditions as Ashwin is to bowling in Australia. Based on your criteria, Ashwin might get a game in grade cricket in Darwin or Broome, maybe.

          • October 1st 2017 @ 11:34am
            Sumit said | October 1st 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

            Ah.. Australia the spin bowlers graveyard. Let’s see how Ashwin does on the next trip. I have more hopes on Kuldeep Yadav’s wrist spin, as it takes the pitch out of the equation.

    • September 29th 2017 @ 9:11am
      BurgyGreen said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:11am | ! Report

      Maybe Handscomb deliberately kept badly in the first game so they don’t get funny ideas about the Test gloves. Or maybe it’s just that he’s not very good (and out of practice). I suspect the latter.

      • September 29th 2017 @ 9:23am
        jameswm said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report

        He’s certainly out of practice, I don’t know how good.

        I understand he will keep for Vic in the Matador Cup, and presumably get some good tuition too.

        • September 29th 2017 @ 9:55am
          BurgyGreen said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

          Interesting move, considering Sam Harper is in their squad and will likely be their first choice Shield keeper.

        • Roar Guru

          September 29th 2017 @ 2:43pm
          Chris Kettlewell said | September 29th 2017 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

          Yeah, he’s kept in a couple of ODI’s now, and in both cases he did it at a moments notice when having previously expected to be there as a batsman. I’d be curious to see if he could be better if he went into a series knowing he was going to be the keeper and therefore put the preparation in. But have no idea how much difference that would make.

    • Roar Guru

      September 29th 2017 @ 9:27am
      Anindya Dutta said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

      “India rested quality opening bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya.”

      @Ronan – That should be Bhuvaneshwar and
      Bumrah.

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