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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47 Have your say

    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)

    • Roar Guru

      September 29th 2017 @ 9:31am
      Giri Subramanian said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      Good win for Australia here. Good to see Warner back in the runs. Finch once again was brilliant with the bat and seems like Australia’s key ODI batsman along with Smith and Warner. Good innings by Handscomb as well.

    • September 29th 2017 @ 9:42am
      Ouch said | September 29th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      ahhh, keep missing these games. We won? Yay

    • September 29th 2017 @ 12:06pm
      matth said | September 29th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

      This was a good win by Australia, but it was all about their existing strengths working and their existing weaknesses being covered up.

      All series Australia have been strong at the top (Cartwright notwithstanding) and then have failed to kick on. It happened again today, but Finch and Warner got enough to cover it. Handscomb is a quality batsman, but the others all continue to struggle.

      And all series Australia have struggled with their spinners and fifth bowling options. this was the case again today, but Cummins, NCN and Richardson were good enough to compensate for it. In fact, for me NCN has been Australia’s man of the series so far.

      So the questions remain. With the decline of Maxwell, we need a fast scoring number 5 or 6. Chris Lynn is injured yet again, so there is opportunity for someone new.

      And our spin bowling options still fail to convince. Agar should probably get more of a run, however the obvious answer is still Nathan Lyon.

      And it’s time to send Wade out to pasture and blood a young wicket keeper in the short form games. Why they have bothered to pick Paine in the T20’s I don’t know, when he is not the future either. They should be looking at Jimmy Pierson or the McDermott kid from Tasmania.

      • September 29th 2017 @ 2:43pm
        jameswm said | September 29th 2017 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

        Yep – Lyon seems the obvious answer. Class is class.

      • September 29th 2017 @ 3:50pm
        BurgyGreen said | September 29th 2017 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

        McDermott is quality. I hope he has a big one-day cup because he could be exactly what we’re after in our limited overs sides in terms of wicketkeeping.

        • Roar Guru

          September 29th 2017 @ 4:59pm
          JamesH said | September 29th 2017 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

          He can hit the ball. That ton against the Renegades was something else.

          • September 29th 2017 @ 7:02pm
            BurgyGreen said | September 29th 2017 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

            One of the few great memories for a Hurricanes fan such as myself. Hard to believe he’s only 22. Huge potential.

      • September 29th 2017 @ 7:07pm
        BrainsTrust said | September 29th 2017 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

        First match they lost 3 wickets early while scoring at a piddling rate in a virtual T20 encounter, a mid range T20 score, was made into mission impossible by the top order..
        Second they again lost wickets early with a almost zero run rate , though in that match it was the tail collapsing that was the bigger problem. The middle order had to score quicker to make up for the non scoring start .
        The middle order in comparison has been the most consistent. The 3rd match and 4th matches the middle order has been disappointing but not disastrous.

    • September 29th 2017 @ 12:16pm
      matth said | September 29th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

      And the other point is that Head has looked completely out of sorts for this whole series. But of course it’s Maxwell that gets the axe.

      • Roar Rookie

        September 29th 2017 @ 1:20pm
        maverick said | September 29th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

        Because Maxwell has been mediocre for a long time.I don’t know how you guys can say he should be persisted with after the way he throws his wicket away.It has nothing to do how Head has played for his axing.He has been dropped because he is averaging 20 in his last 20 odd matches.plain and simple.

        • September 29th 2017 @ 1:54pm
          matth said | September 29th 2017 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

          Yes but in this match, he was dropped … for Matthew Wade. Wade’s last 8 innings for Australia across all formats is a phone number: 3, 2, 9, 2, 8, 5, 4, 2.

          • Roar Rookie

            September 29th 2017 @ 5:06pm
            maverick said | September 29th 2017 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

            Yeah you are right.Wade shouldn’t have replaced him.Infact wade shouldn’t be anywhere near the Australian side.But Maxwell needs runs.He needs to go back to shield and score heavily.That is the only currency to get a spot in the Ashes.

    • September 29th 2017 @ 1:49pm
      peter chrisp said | September 29th 2017 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

      Ronan an excellent summary and what can we say about Finch too, i know hindsight is a good thing if Finchy had not have been injured do you think the first 3 one dayers would have made any difference?

    • September 29th 2017 @ 2:22pm
      BrainsTrust said | September 29th 2017 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

      Australia in the old days were obssesed with the anchor man role or one guy hitting and other taking their time.
      There are sort of insurance if you have lost wickets not to help you score quickly in the last 10 overs.
      Twice they really needed just to go hell for leather because they had enough wickets in hand,
      They just needed hitters and they have plenty of those the problem is they tried to make them play like anchors.
      Handscombe or Wade, either option has its drawbacks, Australia don’t have many good specialist batsman, there is no point selecting Handscomb to keep if you are picking an extra allrounder that you don’t need to bowl.
      On this tour with this squad there is no point having Handscomb keep, if they add two more specialist batsman then its worth contemplating..
      The reason Australia have lost so many matches is they have decided to overload the team with bowlers and allrounders, especially against South Africa they just kept filling the team up regardless of the quality. The philosophy should be if your going to pick a bowler over an allrounder they need to be more economical and take more wickerts. Not just have a bowler there because you have a fixed number of how many you have.

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