Australia had stumbled in their chase of 359, losing Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh cheaply. However, Peter Handscomb and Usman Khawaja steadied the ship and kept Australia in the hunt with a 192-run stand, the highest third-wicket stand by a visiting team in ODIs in India. Handscomb scored his maiden century but it was Ashton Turner who turned the match on it's head, blasting 84 off 43 balls to help Australia achieve the highest successful chase by a visiting team against India in their home town. The series is level 2-2 and not many would have expected the scoreline, considering the problems that Australia were facing in ODIs in the last couple of seasons. The team has not won an ODI since 2017 and both their batting and bowling has shown inconsistency.
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Handscomb remarked that the team was drawing confidence from their performances in the Twenty20 Internationals and this has put them in good shape even in the ODIs. “If you look at the ODI series in Australia, we made good progress there. We started to develop our own batting plan and looked to keep getting better with each game. We started of here nicely getting two wins in T20s and built confidence. We were close in the first few games and then we started to click and in these two games and hopefully that builds momentum going forward,” Handscomb said.
Australia won the first ODI in Vizag when Umesh Yadav could not defend 14 runs in the final over while Glenn Maxwell's third T20I century helped Australia win a Twenty20 series in India for the first time. The series could well have gone in their favour had Marcus Stoinis not been dismissed in the final over when Australia lost the Nagpur ODI by eight runs.
Although Handscomb's maiden ton and the partnership of 192 with Khawaja (91) had put Australia on course, it was Ashton Turner's blazing 84 off 43 balls that helped Australia achieve a world record in Mohali. When asked about Turner's batting, Handscomb described it as 'playing stickcricket'. “We have seen him do this in Big Bash and couple of times now and now to see him come in at international stage and play an innings of this kind is phenomenal and he will take a lot of confidence from this,” Handscomb said.
The fact that Handscomb, Turner and Khawaja negotiated the spin trio of Kedar Jadhav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav successfully along with Jasprit Bumrah, the right-hander from Victoria said that it was still tough negotiating him. “Jadhav is not an easy customer because he doesn’t get bounce and its actually tough to get under it so we looked to play good strong shots against him. With Bumrah, we are just respecting him as much as possible and just try and play good shots against him,” Handscomb remarked.
The century represents a major turning point for Handscomb in his career. He was dropped from the Test squad after his form dipped following an excellent start to his career. He worked with Chris Rogers on his technique and in the JLT One Day Cup in Australia, he managed to achieve good success. “I am happy, I did not know, I was going to play ODI again and it’s funny how things change and its nice to get opportunity to play for Australia and take it and have faith from selectors to keep me in that was nice to get it today pretty special,” Handscomb said.