NEW DELHI: Vice-captain Alex Carey said Tuesday that Australia are confident of sealing what would be a stunning one-day international series victory in India after two wins on the trot.
Having been two down to the hosts, Australia bounced back to win the third and fourth ODIs to level the series, including with a record 359-run chase on Sunday.
“We were put under pressure early in the series. It is obviously really exciting going into tomorrow with the series on the line,” Carey told reporters on the eve of the fifth ODI in New Delhi.
“Obviously (we are taking) some momentum from the last game. The boys are feeling confident,” he said.
If Aaron Finch and company win, it would be the only Aussie team to win a five-match ODI series after losing the first two matches either at home or abroad.
Australia, who swept the two-match Twenty20 series to kick of their limited-overs tour of India on a strong note, have posted two 300-plus scores in their last two outings.
Ashley Turner was an unlikely hero in the previous match in Mohali when the middle-order batsman smashed an unbeaten 84 off 43 deliveries to lead Australia’s highest-ever ODI chase.
Finch, Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb have also all contributed in a big way, and Carey believes it would be hard to name a standout performer in the series.
“I think if you look across the board everyone has performed at times. For Usman Khawaja, to back up his hundred with a score of 90 (91) was impressive to see,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said.
“…I can go across the whole side and say that everyone’s improving.”
– Smith and Warner –
Carey said Australia’s recent performances only add to their team plans which will take better shape when names like Steve Smith and David Warner join the side after their suspension.
The 12-month bans handed down to Smith and Warner by Cricket Australia for their role in the Cape Town ball-tampering incident end on March 28 and the duo are expected to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) before the World Cup later this year.
“Those are definitely some big names that might come back into the line. It’s only healthy for Australian cricket that the guys in the side are playing well and these guys that have done really well in the past have definitely put their hand up for selection when they are available,” said Carey.
“We are really confident moving with the squad we take whoever that is to the World Cup that is going to perform. We have obviously got tomorrow to focus on” he added.
India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun said the team is looking to get their combinations right in what will their final ODI before the World Cup in England and Wales starting May 30.
“We would like to try out all our options before the World Cup,” Arun said.
“Definitely there are certain areas we need to address both in bowling and batting. We have to stay positive whatever has happened,” he added.