Brought in for a game originally but retained after a strong show, Australian pacer John Hastings says there is scope for him to again make the XI in the third ODI against India as the hosts mull playing three seamer all-rounders tomorrow.
Australia lead the five-match series 2-0 after notching up comfortable victories at Perth and Brisbane, leaving India in a must-win situation ahead of the match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The 30-year-old Hastings had replaced the resting Mitchell Marsh after the first ODI at Perth.
While the returning Marsh is expected to walk into the XI tomorrow, Hastings has put up a strong case for himself by taking one for 46 from eight overs yesterday on a pitch offering very little to the quick bowlers.
“James Faulkner has got a really unique skill-set, Mitch Marsh has got another unique skill-set, and I offer something different as well. I think there’s definitely scope for it. I think it can work,” Hastings told reporters on arrival here.
“There’s a lot of injuries in Australian cricket, most of our express bowlers are out,” he said.
Hastings said Australia’s attack deserved credit for restricting India to 75 runs for the loss of six wickets in their last 10 overs at the Gabba.
“It was probably on the slower side of a Gabba wicket that I’ve seen for quite some time. But there just wasn’t any sideways movement or receptiveness to gripping slower balls or cross-seam deliveries. There just wasn’t much there.
“For us to pull it back like we did, I think the bowling group really needs to have a pat on the back for that, because they were two down going into the last ten overs, you can really get anything.”
Hastings was given the ball when centurion Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were setting it up for India.
Impressed with his team-mate’s showing, opener Aaron Finch said Hastings was bowling at a very crucial juncture.
“I thought the way that he bowled was excellent. He bowled at some difficult times. Rohit and Virat were batting beautifully through that period when John got the ball for the first time and ... the way that he’s got his cutters going - legcutters, offcutters, seam-up, cross-seam - I think that he’s a really attractive package for the one-day game,” Finch said after the match.