Watching Ashton Turner tee off against India at Mohali on Sunday night was a cameo of Marcus Stoinis’s master-blasting dig against the Kiwis at Eden Park a tick over two years ago.
There were so many common denominators.
Both were born in Perth four years apart, both were playing in their second ODI and both took their games by the scruff of the neck when all appeared lost.
The major difference was Stoinis’s unbeaten 146 off 117 with nine fours and 11 sixes fell an agonising six runs short when last man Josh Hazlewood was run out at the bowler’s end, backing up too far in one of the dumbest dismissals in cricket history.
But Turner’s unbeaten 84 off 43 with five fours and six sixes got the Australians home to level the series at two apiece, with Delhi the decider on Wednesday.
Both were magnificent innings of sheer raw power. And the irony of Mohali was Turner replaced Stoinis who fractured his right thumb in the third ODI.
Some replacement, but what if they ever teed off together? Now that would be something right off the top shelf, especially if Glenn Maxwell joined the party.
And with the World Cup looming, that possibility has legs and gives the Australians’ immense depth with Steve Smith and David Warner out of suspension.
By then Mitchell Starc should be fit again, ready to repeat his efforts of four years ago as the player of the last World Cup.
This team could retain the coveted trophy:
With no Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh or Alex Carey in the side, Handscomb to keep and captain the side with Cummins and Maxwell his vice-captains. Handscomb has captained Australia A and the Vics and is a very level-headed leader, while Cummins and Maxwell would be very lively deputies.
Just as importantly, the three front-line quicks will have Stoinis in support, while Zampa will have Maxwell and Turner’s offies ready to lend a hand – having seven bowlers certainly lessens the pressure.
If the squad is to be 15, add Travis Head, D’Arcy Short, Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood.