Peter Handscomb, one of the architects of Australia’s record breaking run-chase against India in the fourth ODI in Mohali, is confident that Ashton Turner can consistently replicate his big-hitting exploits in domestic cricket at the international stage.
Turner on Sunday smashed unbeaten 84 off 43 balls as Australia chased down a mammoth target of 359 with four wickets in hand and 13 balls to spare to level the five-match series 2-2. The series-deciding fifth and final ODI will be played in New Delhi on Wednesday.
“Ashton (Turner) is an amazing player. We have seen what he has done in the Big Bash League (for Perth Scorchers) for the past couple of years. We knew he can get the job done,” Handscomb said after the match on Sunday.
“The way he operated against Bumrah was quite amazing. This knock will give him so much confidence going forward.”
Handscomb said that once Turner started hitting, everyone in the dressing room became superstitious. “That was awesome. No one was moving around with all those superstitions coming into play. That’s incredible. To see him come in at the international stage and play an innings of this kind is phenomenal.”
On the personal front, Handscomb termed Australia’s four-wicket victory in the fourth ODI against India as the “best match of his career”, something that will give his team momentum ahead of World Cup in England.
Handscomb hit his maiden ODI hundred and added 192 with Usman Khawaja to set up the platform for rookie Turner to launch a furious final assault.
“It is a lovely feeling. I have no words to describe my feeling. This was the best match of my career so far. This win will give us great momentum for the decider and then the World Cup in England. I am just glad that I contributed in the victory,” said Handscomb.
On his maiden century, he said: “I am happy, I did not know I was going to play ODIs again and it’s funny how things change. It’s nice to get an opportunity to play for Australia and make it count. The faith the selectors showed in me felt nice. To get it today was pretty special.”
As the dew set in, Handscomb felt that he and Khawaja could play their natural game as there wasn’t much spin on offer.
“The dew definitely made it difficult for India’s wrist spinners (Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal). Conditions became difficult for them. They are very good bowlers but I think today, we also played them very well,” he said.
During their 192-run stand, he and Khawaja didn’t talk much, revealed the right-hander. “Uzzi (Khawaja) and I didn’t talk much. We just left each other to play our own games. It was a very good batting pitch. Once the dew came on, we noticed there wasn’t much spin, which helped us play our natural game,” he said.
Handscomb was also happy with the fact that they have been able to chase down big totals during the current tour, irrespective of formats.
“A high-scoring chase is always special. It just gives you so much confidence. We chased down 189 in Bengaluru (in the second T20 International) and today we proved that it wasn’t a fluke,” he said.