Jhye Richardson has boosted his World Cup selection hopes by earning man-of-the-match honours and immense praise from Rohit Sharma at the SCG.
Rohit Sharma, arguably the best ODI batsman in the world, has showered Jhye Richardson with praise after the fresh-faced paceman boosted his World Cup selection hopes by bowling Australia to victory at the SCG.
Australia shocked India by 34 runs on Saturday night and now lead an ODI series for the first time in two years.
Richardson’s haul of 4-26 included the prized scalp of Virat Kohli, who fell for three as the visitors crashed to 3-4 in pursuit of 289.
The 22-year-old, given a chance to shine in the absence of rested quicks Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, is one of many fast bowlers desperate to join the star trio in Australia’s World Cup squad.
Richardson earned man-of-the-match honours in Sydney and the admiration of Sharma, who scored 133 and threatened to drag the tourists to victory.
“He looks a very great prospect for Australian cricket … to have skill to bowl with new ball and old ball as well is quite exciting,” Sharma said after scoring his 22nd ODI century.
“When you have those sort of skills, the job of the captain becomes a lot easier.
“A captain can rely on someone like that.
“He’s got great variation as well.”
Selectors will submit their 15-man World Cup squad in April.
If Richardson extends the hot form he showed in just his fifth ODI then he is certain to be part of the conversation.
“Justin (Langer) has said it’s a great opportunity to be able to push your selection (case) for the World Cup,” Richardson said.
“I haven’t really had the conversation with him (about the current pecking order) and I don’t think I need to.
“We’ve still got a lot of white-ball cricket between now and then … if I get picked, I get picked. All I can concentrate on is what’s happening now.”
Richardson noted the Ashes is another dream.
“If I keep going well then nothing is out of the question but as I’ve said, my focus is here and now,” he said.
The right-armer, currently standing at 1.78m, was told throughout his junior career that he’d never make it as a fast bowler.
But he now looms as one of Australia’s most promising pace prospects, having learned plenty from last year’s scandal-landed Test tour of South Africa plus a miserable ODI series in England.
The three-match series continues on Tuesday at Adelaide Oval.
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