While the new looking Australian side clinched a brilliant victory in the Sydney ODI against the no.2 ODI ranked Indian cricket team, the young Australian pacer Jhye Richardson, who won the Player of the Match award in that game, claimed that his present focus is on the upcoming matches in this series rather than the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
On Saturday (12 January), Australia won the first ODI of the three-match home ODI series against India at Sydney by 34 runs. The 22-year-old Australian right-arm pacer Jhye Richardson performed brilliantly with the ball in hand as he won the Player of the Match award for his impressive bowling figure of 10-2-26-4.
While the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup is just four months away, Richardson’s this performance has put him in the serious World Cup radar. However, the young pacer is focusing on the most upcoming matches rather than thinking about the upcoming WC.
After the Sydney ODI, Richardson said, “My focus is on these two games coming up. Justin (Langer, head coach) has said it’s a great opportunity to be able to push your selection (case) for the World Cup. But we’ve still got a lot of white-ball cricket between now and then.
“So I think it’ll be for me to concentrate on these two games then if I’m lucky enough to get picked for the next tour, it’ll be concentrating on those games. Then if I get picked, I get picked. All I can concentrate on is what’s happening now.”
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After Australia managed to score 288/5 in 50 overs, Richardson and the debutant left-arm pacer Jason Behrendorff provided a brilliant start with the ball in hand as the visitors were struggling on 4/3. While Behrendorff dismissed the Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan for a golden duck, Richardson banged by picking two wickets in the next over after dismissing the Indian skipper Virat Kohli and the no.4 batsman Ambati Rayudu.
In the presentation ceremony, the young bowler pointed out the turning points of the game. Also, he revealed his happiness for dismissing the no.1 ODI ranked Indian batsman Virat Kohli.
Richardson added, “They are a quality side. Credit to India as they gave us a run for our money in those middle overs. For a period they had the game under control. When you have a team three down early, it becomes difficult to bounce back. I am very happy to get (Kohli’s) wicket, I’ll treasure it for a while but more than that, I’m happy with the win.”
Later, in the day, he further spoke about that wicket as he claimed that he will remember that wicket for a long time. Kohli was caught out at the square leg that was grabbed by Marcus Stoinis.
The young pacer claimed about Kohli’s wicket, “I was actually disappointed when the ball came out. I probably bowled a bit too straight. I had a fielder there who hung on to it, so it is a wicket I will remember for a very long time.”
After the visiting side went down to 4/3, the Indian opener Rohit Sharma and the wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni put a brilliant partnership of 137 runs for the fourth wicket that kept the side into the game.
When that partnership was at the peak moment, the debutant Behrendorff dismissed Dhoni (51 runs) after trapping him for the lbw. However, later the replay revealed that the ball was outside the leg. As India hadn’t any review left at that time, Dhoni had to return to the pavilion.
Richardson claimed that they were lucky to dismiss Dhoni through that fashion as that also led them for the comfortable victory as wickets were falling regularly.
The young Australian cricketer said, “There was a period there when they had a partnership through the middle and it almost could have taken the game away from us. But we were lucky to get Dhoni out lbw and we kept getting wickets from there on.”
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Though Rohit fought almost till the end and scored 133 off 129 balls, India finished the game after managing 254/9 at the end of 50 overs.
Talking about Rohit Sharma’s innings, Richardson said, “Rohit batted really well. Credit to him and he summed up the conditions just as well as we did. He batted very patiently and knew the balls he could put away. He picked the gaps really well tonight. Rohit was very dangerous and we understood that. So our plan sort of changed to getting him off strike and just bowling at the batsman down the other end.”
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Just after completion of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, Australia will play The Ashes 2019 in England. Talking about the Ashes tour, Richardson reveals that it is his dream.
The young pacer said, “That’s the dream, I’d love to play an Ashes tour. Obviously, if I keep going well then nothing is out of the question. But as I’ve said, my focus is here and now and we’ll go from there.”