Alex Carey has backed Aaron Finch to snap a devastating form slump as Australia plots the “confidence-boosting’’ revenge against India that emboldens their World Cup defence.
Australia enter a World Cup year without one-day series success since January 2017 against Pakistan. Six series losses lay in the distance including the Champions Trophy in England and Carey concedes ‘‘it’s been a while’’ without winning.
“It would mean a lot. A series win would be a great result and really big confidence booster,” said the vice-captain, with Australia 1-0 up entering today’s second match of the three-game series in Adelaide.
“We definitely want to win a series against India, bounce back from that Test series. I guess with the World Cup not too far away to have some success in Australia against one of the best white-ball sides in the world would mean a lot for our cricket going forward.
“If we’re playing the cricket we know we’re good enough to play, the results will probably look after themselves.”
Openers David Warner and Travis Head averaged 73 and 67 respectively in Australia’s last 50-over conquest against Pakistan but Carey and Finch have been united at the top of the order against India.
Dumped from the Test side after averaging 16 against India, Finch (6) failed in the one-day series opener at the SCG. The left-hander averaged 19 in the one-day series against South Africa last November and has 66 runs from his past seven T20 internationals.
But Australian one-day skipper Finch is “going fine” despite his lean run insists keeper-batsman Carey.
“Finchy’s a really proud Australian cricketer and wants to bounce back, score big runs for us,” said Carey, lauding Finch’s leadership and 11 ODI tons.
“The work he’s doing off the field, he’s so close to really nailing a match-winning innings.
“For me to bounce off him in my role as well, he’s been amazing off the field more so.”
Glenn Maxwell’s best batting slot in a side that has struggled to match the 6.25 run rate per over of World Cup favourite England continues to be a bone of contention. If Maxwell isn’t required until the late overs at No 7 then the side is doing well says Carey.
“He has had lots of opportunities in the top order and the other night, having him in the sheds when there is three overs to go means we have done something right through the middle and top order,” said Carey of Maxwell.
“You could argue the point he could be batting higher but it is pretty exciting to have that power hitting.”
Carey says the Australians have their tails up following the impressive entry of Jason Behrendorff (2-39) and the way Jhye Richardson (4-26) rushed through India in Sydney on Saturday. Competition for World Cup spots is positive.
“It is a really good opportunity for Behrendorff, Richardson and Peter Siddle who all played really well the other night,” he said. “It was a great opportunity for me too at the top of the order and Peter Handscomb (73) coming back in.
“If you look across the list, there are so many opportunities for guys to put their hand up and really make a spot their own.”
All-rounder Mitch Marsh trained yesterday after recovering from gastritis but is unlikely to be risked in forecast 42C temperatures.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa will push for a recall on his home deck possibly at off-spinner Nathan Lyon’s expense while Adelaide Strikers tearaway Billy Stanlake craves a start.
CRICKET: After nine months of hell, Cameron Bancroft’s bat is doing his talking again, and he’s making quite the statement with two knocks that have kept the Perth Scorchers’ Big Bash League season alive.
Bancroft gained recognition throughout the cricketing world for all the wrong reasons when he was the centre of the ball-tampering controversy in South Africa last March.
His subsequent nine-month suspension provided some challenging moments, but the 26year-old has now played five BBL games and is in sparkling form. After struggling in his first three games back for the Scorchers with scores of two, 19 and 24, while wicketkeeping in losses, he made a terrific 59 off 42 balls in last Wednesday’s win over the Melbourne Stars.
That was just Perth’s second victory in seven games and they needed to keep winning as the side returned to Optus Stadium on Sunday against the Sydney Sixers, in the first of four straight home games.
The Sixers were sent in to bat by Scorchers captain Ashton Turner and posted 5-177, but once Bancroft came together with Turner in the run chase, the home side took charge. The pair put together 98 runs in their stand off just 62 balls before Turner was out for a scintillating 60 in 30 balls, with his half-century coming in just 22 deliveries.
Bancroft carried his bat for the innings, hitting eight fours and a six and finished on 87 not out from 61 balls. His ability to find the boundary, exploit gaps in the field and run well between the wickets showed he could be more than just a Test batsman for Australia moving forward. Having gone through what he did in 2018, Bancroft said he is enjoying being able to focus on his cricket again.
“I’m literally just turning up to training every day and trying to be better, it’s as simple as that,” he said. “I’m not trying too hard, and am enjoying this great game. I’m having a lot of fun out here
‘I’m not trying too hard, and am enjoying this great game. I’m having a lot of fun …’ CAMERON BANCROFT PERTH SCORCHERS
whether it’s my day or it isn’t. I’m just really grateful to be here, it’s awesome.”
After building some momentum with consecutive wins, Bancroft’s focus is on keeping the Scorchers’ winning form going with three home games to come starting on Friday against the Hobart Hurricanes.
“It’s another tick tonight and we’ll move forward against the Hurricanes later this week,” Bancroft said. “We’ve won two games in a row now so hopefully we can keep that going.
“Twenty20 is a game of luck — sometimes it goes your way and you are able to come off.”
Cameron Bancroft shows his good form on Sunday night