Ashton Turner was playing in only his second ODI, having made his debut in the Hyderabad ODI earlier in the series. The situation confronting Australia was daunting. Glenn Maxwell, their big-hitter had departed and they needed 126 runs off 78 balls to stay alive in the five-match series. Peter Handscomb, who had shared a 192-run stand for the third wicket with Usman Khawaja, had given Australia a chance in their chase of 359. When Handscomb fell for 117 to Yuzvendra Chahal, it seemed that the game was up. However, the 26-year-old Perth batsman had other ideas. In a dazzling display of calculated power-hitting, Turner turned the tables on the Indian bowling attack in grand fashion.
Turner started with two fours off Kuldeep Yadav and continued to play him well by blasting a six down the ground. The departure of Handscomb did not deter Turner, who clobbered Chahal for his second six. Australia still needed 78 off 48 balls and India had six overs remaining from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, India’s two bowlers who delivered consistently in the death overs.
With the equation boiling down to 62 off 36 balls, Turner decided to go for the assault. He launched Bhuvneshwar for two sixes and a boundary as 20 runs came off the 45th over. After reaching his maiden fifty, Turner blasted Bumrah for a four and a six as India wilted under the onslaught.
The game was sealed in the 47th over when Turner benefited from two dropped catches by Kedar Jadhav and Shikhar Dhawan and he proceeded to cart the bowler for two fours and a six. Fittingly, Turner scored the winning runs and Australia had done the unthinkable, achieving the highest-successful run-chase by a visiting team in an ODI in India. Aaron Finch’s side mauled 62 runs in 3.5 overs as the five-match series was level 2-2.
Star in Big Bash League
Turner made heads turn by his performances in the Big Bash League 2018/19 season as he was the lone bright spot for the Perth Scorchers in what was a dismal campaign for them. In 14 games, he notched up 378 runs at an average of 31.5 with a strike-rate of 132.6 with three fifties. Although Perth Scorchers ended the season at the bottom of the table, Turner’s performances had warranted selection as a player who could finish the match.
Even in the JLT One Day Cup, Turner had put in some decent performances for Western Australia, managing 193 runs at an average of 38 and a strike-rate of 89. His performances in limited-overs cricket also got him in the radar of the Indian Premier League and in the auctions held in December 2018, he was picked up at his base price of Rs 50 lakhs by Rajasthan Royals.
Looking at the exploits of Turner in Mohali, Australia have unearthed yet another potential star and a repeat of his performance in Delhi could fetch him an express ticket to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 which will be held in England.