Another win against the other World Cup semi-finalists in Rajkot on Friday would give Australia a series of international successes in India one day in a row.
David Warner had a run of races this summer in Australia and has expanded his record in India
Then follows a tour of South Africa, the world’s No. 4, before a home series against second-placed New Zealand, before world champion England takes a back seat. Win all three and Australia could justifiably claim to be the best 50-over team, but without a trophy to show.
After a dominant home summer, Australia took on its exemplary form on another continent to extensively outperform India. If the result was not surprising, the margin certainly was.
While the Australians were sleeping, the records fell. It was the first time that Australia beat India by 10 goals in a 50-over game, and only the second time that India lost so significantly at home. Their winning streak in Asia is now up to nine – their best – and goes back to last year’s streak in India when they came back 2-0 down and won 3-2.
Warner was a central figure in the massacre and crashed 128 out of 112 balls, while his opening partner Finch was undefeated at 110.
Warner has really proven that his abysmal ash campaign was more of a departure than a sign of the things to come. Since then, he has hit 1201 runs with 171.57 in all three formats.
Few would have predicted such a flood of runs for Warner, whose notoriety had increased last summer when he remained silent while pronouncing his ban.
Warner became the fastest Australian with 5,000 ODI runs and overtook former great Dean Jones. Only Hashim Amla, Viv Richards and Kohli reached the milestone from fewer innings than Warners 115.
He and Finch’s opening score of 258 was the largest partnership against India in an ODI for a wicket, and only the fifth time that two Australian openers have shot a century in one game.
The victory is an encouraging start to the World Cup cycle with the next major tournament, which will not be held until 2023.
Finch has already said he wants to be there, while Warner doesn’t rule out a third World Cup campaign.
“We have a large group of people here who may be able to make this World Cup with our older players,” said Warner.
“I look forward to being there. But there is still a long way to go. You obviously have to win games, do as much as you can, and keep our own shape.”
Australia is unlucky not to be in a 12-game winning streak as it was too late to win against Pakistan in a Twenty20.
“What we’re doing is phenomenal,” said Warner. “We ride this wave of good shape and clinical performance with racket and ball. We eat very well … I think we have great stability at the moment. It is good to see.”
Australia defended India with four quick wickets in the middle of the overs.
“I was impressed with the way we struggled in midfield,” said Finch. “Shikhar [Dhawan] and KL [Rahul] did very well to accelerate, so I’m proud of the way the boys hit back.”
Kohli’s dismissal for 16 against number 4 triggered criticism that he should immediately return to his usual position.
Andrew Wu writes about cricket and AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald
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