You can never write Australia off before a World Cup! Just months before the quadrennial event, the defending champions showed that they would not give up their crown without a fight by coming from 2-0 down to inflict a stunning 3-2 defeat on pre-WC favourites India. This was Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s first home series loss as captain. Australia’s last ODI series win came nearly two years ago, and with the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitch Starc and Josh Hazlewood all likely to be added to the squad, few will underestimate the Kangaroos at the World Cup.
Here’s how Australia’s players rated in the PayTM ODI series against India.
Aaron Finch (capt) 5/10
As a batsman, Finch had an ordinary series- only 157 runs in 5 matches at an average of 31.40 as his poor test form continued into the shorter formats. His 93 in Ranchi showed signs of him leaving his lean run behind, but on evidence of this series, his starting spot could be in serious jeopardy when Warner and Smith return.
He however led his team remarkably well, and has achieved something many visiting skippers have been unable to do- an ODI series win in India.
Usman Khawaja- 9.5/10
An absolutely fantastic series for Uzzy, with 383 runs in 5 matches at an average of 76.6. Was remarkably consistent as well- scored his maiden ton in Ranchi which set the tone for the visitors’ comeback, and followed it up with 91 and 100 in Chandigarh and Delhi respectively. Outscored Virat Kohli in a series where the latter scored two back to back centuries!
Rightly declared the Player of the Series.
29 runs in 3 matches at an average of 9.66
A horrendous series for SOS given his normally high standards in this format, and might have just kissed his World Cup hopes goodbye. Was axed for the decider in Delhi after being heralded as a potential saviour for the visitors’ batting on Indian pitches when he was brought into the squad- an indicator of how badly his stocks fell in this series.
Peter Handscomb — 8/10
236 runs in 5 matches at an average of 47.20
Like Khawaja, another player who scored his maiden ODI ton in this series. His magnificent 117 helped the Aussies chase down a record 359, and as the third highest scorer in the series behind Uzzy and Virat Kohli, did his WC chances no harm at all.
Glenn Maxwell- 6/10
115 runs in five matches at an average of 23
Maxwell set the stage on fire In the T20’s with scored of 56 & 113 * that helped Aussies win the series. Wasn’t as effective in the ODI’s, but remains an important component of the Aussie middle order, especially with his ability to chip in with the ball.
Marcus Stoinis- 5/10
140 runs in 4 innings, and 4 wickets.
A mixed series for Stoinis- couldn’t seal Australia’s chase in Nagpur, and was quite expensive for the ball. His thumb injury allowed Ashton Turner to announced himself on the world stage. In a lineup filled with plenty of competition, his spot isn’t secure, although the team management do appear to like him. Also got the prize scalp of Kohli in the series decider in Delhi.
Ashton Turner 7.5/10
Perhaps player the knock of the series in Chandigarh (84 off 43) and that lead the Aussies to believe that they could in fact win the series.
Has effectively forced himself into the squad, and if he can nail down the finisher’s role against Pakistan, might well be going to the World Cup.
Wicket keeper Alex Carey didn’t contribute much with the bat but his stumping of Rohit Sharma in Delhi, in stark comparison to the way his opposite number Pant messed up in Mohali, sealed the series for Australia.
Nathan Coulter-Nile- 5/10
Hasn’t done much wrong, but the emergence of Jhye Richardson could see NCN being omitted. Played the first two ODI’s (Australia lost both) but missed the remainder of the series after flying back home for the birth of his child.
14 wickets in 5 games, SR 15.71, Economy 4.64
Cummins was Australia’s best bowler and ended the series as their leading wicket taker. Had the impact with the ball that Khawaja had with the bat. Simply stunning figures.
Richardson bagged 8 wickets at an average of 21.25 despite playing just three games. Was an able foil to Cummins and might have jumped the queue in terms of WC selection.
The lanky left armer was decent in the T20’s but average in the ODI’s. Went wicketless in both the ODI’s that he played.
Zampa claimed the wicket of Kohli twice and removed Rohit Sharma in the final ODI. Was the second highest wicket taker in the series, and took as many wickets as Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal put together.
Nathan Lyon — 6.5/10
Nathan Lyon was not among the wickets but bowled tightly. Is second choice to Zampa, but should make the WC as a reserve spinner.