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Ahead of the all-important ICC ODI World Cup 2023, five-time champions Australia got a major boost in their confidence as they registered a fantastic 66-run victory over hosts India in the recently concluded third and final ODI match. The visiting Australian team came into this on the back of losing all of their last five ODI matches in a row that included three against South Africa and two against India. However, Australia still ended up losing the three-match ODI series against India by a 1-2 margin.
It was a great spell says Mitchell Marsh
After having won the toss and opted to bat first, Australia went on to post a massive total of 352 for 7 in their 50 overs during the final ODI against India in Rajkot. The Aussie openers, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh provided a brilliant start at the top with a fine partnership of 78 runs in just 8.1 overs. Warner smashed a quick-fire half-century while Marsh scored an excellent knock of 96 runs off 84 deliveries that included 13 fours and 3 sixes. Both Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith also notched up useful fifties each.
However, during the run-chase, it was Australia's all-rounder Glenn Maxwell who turned the game on its head with a superb bowling performance. The off-spinner ended up claiming as many as four wickets namely Rohit Sharma, Washington Sundar, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer. Maxwell finished with exceptional figures of 4 for 40 from his quota of 10 overs and was also named the Man of the Match.
"It was a great spell. He came back after having not played much cricket for the last (few) months. It was great to see him back. It is the energy that Maxi brings to the team, his presence, and the balance that he gives us," Australia's Mitchell Marsh said during the press conference.
Glenn Maxwell has missed a lot of ODI cricket for Australia during the recent while as he was recovering from an ankle injury. He did not played the entire five-match ODI series in South Africa and then also missed the opening two games against India. Mitchell Marsh further stressed upon the importance of all-round options for the ODI World Cup.
Australia will be playing their opening game of the mega event against hosts India on 8 October at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai a wicket which normally assists the spinners. Marsh also revealed that there will be situations where Maxwell will be Australia's third spinner contributing with 10 overs.
"There may be wickets where he's the third spinner through this World Cup. But just the ability for us to play the three quicks, a spinner, and have Maxi who has the ability on the right wicket to bowl ten overs, think you see a lot of teams around the world have guys like Maxi; it gives you a lot of flexibility with the teams you can pick or the way you can structure your batting line-up," Marsh concluded.