The Player of the Match award winner Ashton Turner was lost for words after playing an incredible match-winning innings in Mohali ODI.
Coming to bat at no.6, the right-handed batsman played an unbeaten innings of 84 runs off 43 balls that helped his team to incredibly chase the 359 runs target against the world-class Indian bowling line-up.
Before this ODI, Australia was trailing this five-match ODI series by 2-1 while this Mohali ODI was the fourth ODI of the series. It meant Australia couldn’t afford another defeat in this ODI series. With the Mohali ODI victory, Australia has now levelled the series by 2-2 with one ODI to go.
Even a few hours before the Mohali ODI, Ashton Turner didn’t think to play that crucial ODI of the series. In the very last moment before the ODI, Marcus Stoinis failed in the fitness test, and Ashton Turner replaced him.
After winning the Player of the Match award, the 26-year-old said, “Really lost for words. I turned up to the ground, Stonis was doing a fitness test. Thought I’d be running drinks, but last minute to transition my mind from not playing to play….had a lot of opportunities to hit the ball, given the chance. Not every day you play this well as a team, was a great game, very fortunate to come out the right side.”
Batting is a lot of fun – Ashton Turner
After winning the toss, the host side scored 358/9 in 50 overs. The Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan provided a brilliant start with 193 runs partnership. While Rohit Sharma scored 95 runs off 92 balls, Shikhar Dhawan finally played the big innings of 143 runs off 115 balls.
In reply, Australia was struggling on 12/2 after losing Aaron Finch (0) and Shaun Marsh (6) very early. Later, the opener Usman Khawaja and the no.4 batsman Peter Handscomb handled the situation very well. They had an amazing 192-run partnership for the third wicket which helped Australia to make a super fightback in this game. Usman Khawaja just missed his second consecutive ODI century as he scored 91 runs off 99 balls. Meanwhile, Peter Handscomb scored a brilliant century, 117 runs off 105 balls.
However, Australia was still far away from that incredible victory until Ashton Turner’s entry. The 26-year-old played a brilliant innings of unbeaten 84 off just 43 balls with five boundaries and six over-boundaries. Talking about his batting performance, he claimed that batting was a lot of fun.
He added, “Batting is a lot of fun, there were a few close calls, I know I didn’t nick the one that went upstairs, but heart was racing. Few drop catches, very fortunate. It doesn’t always happen.”
Privileged to get my cap from Matthew Hayden
It was Ashton Turner’s second ODI and he shined very well. He credited the former Aussie opener Matthew Hayden for helping him in this tour. The 26-year-old made his ODI debut during the first ODI of this series at Hyderabad. Before the Hyderabad ODI, Matthew Hayden handed the ODI cap to him which he felt privileged.
Ashton Turner said about the former Aussie opener, “Haydos has been great to me, privileged to get my cap from him, still nervous standing up and talking to him. He’s spent a lot of time with me in the nets, was a brilliant player of spin bowling. He’s a legend, great to sit down and chat with him. Nice to hear good words from him. Try my best to watch ball closely against spin, easier to watch than not watch it.”
While the series is currently levelled by 2-2, the fifth and final ODI of the series is going to be the series-decider. Delhi will organise the last ODI of the series on this Wednesday (13th March).