Maxwell Hails All-Rounders After Australia's Morale-Boosting Win


(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Wed 27 Sep 2023, 10:30 PM

Glenn Maxwell returned from injury to help Australia snap their five-match losing streak with a 66-run win over India in their third and final ODI on Wednesday as both teams finalised preparations for the upcoming cricket World Cup.

India had already won the series, which finished 2-1 to the hosts.

All-rounder Maxwell claimed 4-40 in 10 overs of spin as India were bowled out for 286 in 49.4 overs in an unconvincing pursuit of Australia's 352-7 after the visitors chose to bat first.

"I was able to get home and get an injection and get into my rehab. I feel like I'm in a decent place. I feel fresh. I feel like I've come into this World Cup nice and fresh and I'm excited to hit the ground running," Maxwell said.

“It is nice to get some momentum going into the ODI World Cup. I have put in a lot of hard work to get fit.

“The idea was to chop and change with Mitchell Marsh (who didn't field or bowl). We will be as flexible as possible and that will be the role of all-rounders in the World Cup.”

Marsh's 84-ball 96 with three sixes and 13 fours had earlier helped Australia rectify their batting issues and fellow opener David Warner (56 in 34) also scored his third successive half-century.

No. 3 Steve Smith (74 in 61) and No. 4 Marnus Labuschagne (72 in 58) piled on the runs in an impressive batting display by Australia's top order.

Skipper Rohit Sharma, back in charge after resting the first two games, top scored for India with 81 in 57 and Virat Kohli scored 56 runs at close to run-a-ball pace.

Opting to bat on a calm wicket, Australia got off to a rollicking start. Marsh and Warner added 78 in 49 balls for the first wicket, with Warner scoring 50 off only 32 deliveries.

Marsh rallied after Warner was out caught behind and added another 137 runs for the second wicket with Smith.

At 215-1 in 27.5 overs, Australia were in a strong position. Marsh fell short of his hundred - caught off Kuldeep Yadav (2-48) - but reconfirmed Australia's batting plans for the World Cup.

Mohammed Siraj trapped Smith lbw in the 32nd over and Australia was down to 242-3. Jasprit Bumrah (3-81) dismissed Alex Carey (11) and bowled Maxwell for five runs.

Australia were down to 299-6 in 42.3 overs as Cameron Green holed out off Yadav for nine. But Labuschagne held one end together and his innings included nine fours as Australia crossed the 350-mark.

Despite the defeat, Sharma was satisfied overall.

“In the last few games (against Australia and at the Asia Cup), we have been challenged across different conditions and against different opposition," Sharma said.

"We have played really well in these games. We have a good squad and we understand how we want to use it during the World Cup. It will be about keeping our minds and bodies fresh across the next 1 1/2 months.”

India won the first ODI in Mohali by five wickets and the second in Indore by 99 runs.

Australia made five changes to their side from the previous game. Pat Cummins was back leading the team, with the fit-again duo of left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc and Maxwell included.

For India, Kohli, wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav and pacers Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj were also back in the playing side.

Both teams now head into the one-day World Cup, hosted by India and starting Oct. 5 in Ahmedabad with defending champions England taking on 2019 runner-up New Zealand.

Five-time champions Australia will take on two-time champions India in Chennai on Oct. 8.

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Khaleej Times

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