India were hardly sympathetic to Australia all-rounder Shane Watson, who left the field with yet another hamstring injury but batted at number eight and smacked a handy 49 with a limp. He copped it from the Indians, but no worse than he’ll get when or if he is fit enough to come up against England in the Ashes, starting on November 21 in Brisbane.
There was no denying the impressive innings of 209 from Rohit Sharma though, which started with control and ended with an explosion. He became the third double ceturian in ODI history.
After such a stellar series as stand-in captain in India, and with the bat scoring 478 runs at an average of 95.6, George Bailey has had to answer queries about his potential selection in that Ashes series despite any valuable red ball preparation ahead of the series.
Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson was sent home from the India tour to give him a chance to prepare for the Ashes, which obviously means the selectors rate him highly and he could make a return to Test cricket at the Gabba.
James Faulkner’s century also showed up his credentials as a potential replacement as a bowling all-rounder for Watson.
With India setting such a massive target in the final match and chasing down 350-plus twice in the series – the second and third biggest chases of all time – even MS Dhoni suggested the ODI game needs looking at.
What they said
George Bailey (on his potential Test debut): “Certainly what I’ve been training for in the nets and working with Diva is not to be too different from one-day to four-day cricket, so hopefully that transpires.”
Bailey (on Tasmania teammate James Faulkner): “I don’t want to sound biased, (because) I’ve played a lot with Jimmy, but I just can’t speak highly enough of him. I don’t know how many games he’s played of one-day cricket but he almost leads our bowling attack. He bowls in power plays. He bowls at the start. He bowls at the death. He loves that responsibility.
Bailey (making sense of the crazy run scoring in India): “You won’t get wickets like this in Australia and South Africa. It does depend a little bit on conditions and then when you get those conditions in Australia, may be the two new balls play a part and the team might be 3-30, and you have got to find a way to get to 250. It is different everywhere. It is just a matter of striking the balance. I don’t mind the odd games like this.”
Rohit Sharma: “Getting a 200 in ODIs is a wonderful feeling. When I went out to bat, I never thought I’d get a 200. The idea was to stay on the wicket. We know it is a small ground, runs are easy to come by once you are in. I just wanted to stay in and capitalise later.”
A Cricket Australia spokesperson (on Watson): “Shane encountered soreness in his left hamstring during last night’s ODI in India. He received initial treatment from team medical staff and showed that he was able to bat when needed. He will have the injury assessed in detail this week following his return to Australia. At that point we will have a clearer picture about his availability for the first Test.”