Having ended their losing streak in 50-over cricket with a 21-run victory over India in the fourth ODI at Bengaluru, Steve Smith-led Australia aim to emulate what India did, inspired by Virat Kohli’s call, during their tour in early 2016.
It was Kohli’s ‘bold declaration’ on that tour after the fourth ODI defeat that India went on to achieve the 4-4 result across eight matches.
The Indian cricket team had lost the first four ODIs on the trot of their five-match series in 2016 before Manish Pandey’s maiden century inspired them to a consolatory win in the final game at Sydney, to end the series 1-4.
The victory proved to be a catalyst as India went on to win all remaining matches on the tour, including their first-ever series whitewash across formats Down Under when they blanked Australia 3-0 in the T20I series.
Australia find themselves in a similar scenario, but with a game more to play to achieve what would be an outstanding turnaround for a team that had struggled on all fronts till the Bengaluru ODI.
“I think they lost the first four one-dayers and Virat spoke about winning the last one-dayer and then the three T20s to make it four-all. If we can keep winning and get ahead of them in terms of win/loss for the tour that would be the goal,” right-arm pacer Kane Richardson was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“It’s all about momentum now heading into the T20s. But as we know it’s quite tough over here. Unless you play the perfect game it’s tough to win. It’s definitely nice to win the boys who have experienced those last couple of tours. The 5-0 in South Africa, hearing from the boys that was quite tough. Now heading to Nagpur the goal is to keep winning,” he added.
The final ODI of the five-match series which stands 3-1 in India’s favour will be played at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground in Nagpur on Sunday.
The T20I series begins October 7 at Ranchi, with the second and third T20Is to be played at Guwahati on October 10 and in Hyderabad on October 13 respectively.