Marcus Stoinis is keeping the pressure on the Aussie ODI batsmen. Picture: Getty
Marcus Stoinis is keeping the pressure on the Aussie ODI batsmen. Picture: Getty

Pressure on Aussies before first ODI ball hit

AUSTRALIA'S next-generation middle order is already on notice despite the five fresh faces still waiting to face a ball from Virat Kohli's all-star Indian attack.

A Big Bash onslaught by Marcus Stoinis (147 not-out off 79 balls on Sunday), Glenn Maxwell (83 not-out off 45 on Friday) and Mitchell Marsh (93 not-out off 41 on Saturday) since the 14-man squad left for India without them has fast-tracked selection pressure leading into next month's tour of South Africa.

But while Stoinis, Maxwell and Marsh prepare to light up the Melbourne Stars-Perth Scorchers clash in Perth on Wednesday, Australia's four-year build to the 2023 World Cup in India begins with Tuesday night's ODI in Mumbai.

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Batsmen Marnus Labuschagne, 25, Peter Handscomb, 28 and all-rounders Ashton Turner, 26, D'Arcy Short, 29, and Ashton Agar, 26, have all been parachuted into an ODI squad that's been reset following last year's World Cup.

Stoinis and Maxwell headlined the omissions from the World Cup while Marsh was twice brought to training on standby as Stoinis battled side strains in England.

Sean Abbott, 27, is also in line for a ticket to South Africa. Abbott was in the first-choice squad for India before a side strain saw him replaced by Short.

The inclusions, along with 2015 World Cup winner Josh Hazlewood, 29, who was overlooked for last year's tournament, are all the perfect age to excel at the 2023 edition.

Interim coach Andrew McDonald said squeezing the new clutch of batting talent into a top-seven that will also feature keeper Alex Carey would be extremely difficult, with two players set to miss out.

But Labuschagne is certain to become the 229th Australian to play an ODI during the three-match series.

The Test revelation's demolition of domestic spinners will see him bat at No. 4 or No. 5, with Steve Smith claiming the No. 3 position vacated by Usman Khawaja.

Labuschagne averages 37.9 against at a strike-rate of 86.7 when facing pace in 50-over cricket for Queensland.

But Labuschagne's average leaps to 68.4 against tweakers, with the strike-rate also growing to 100.9.

Labuschagne got a glimpse of Jasprit Bumrah in last year's SCG Test and likened Kohli's strike weapon to England's Jofra Archer.

Archer took 3-78 (189) against Labuschagne in last year's Ashes while Bumrah's figures were 0-4 (28).

"They're quite similar in the sense that they both don't look like they're bowling as fast (as they are)," Labuschagne said.

"Their run-ups aren't that quick, but they have really quick arm speed. It's going to be a great challenge. He's a class bowler and it's going to be hard work."

Kane Richardson said the Aussies had to drag Labuschagne out of the Mumbai nets.

"I think he batted for four hours last night, he didn't want to go home," Richardson said.

"Hopefully he gets picked, because if he's on the bench he will be hard work, he'd want to be out there playing."

World Cup champion England conceded it was at ground zero after the 2015 tournament and so meticulously set about building a team and game plan for 2019.

Seven Englishman from last year's tied final at Lord's also played in the country's first ODI following the 2015 World Cup and the continuity across 90 matches gave captain Eoin Morgan

Conversely, Australia's charge to last year's World Cup began with a four-hour crisis meeting during the 2018 Boxing Day Test after they dropped 22 out of their previous 26 ODIs.



David Warner 0/50 (57)

Aaron Finch 1/70 (94)

Steve Smith 1/31 (35)


Shikhar Dhawan 2/64 (62)

Rohit Sharma 2/122 (178)

Virat Kohli 1/68 (78)


Dhawan 2/13 (24)

Sharma 0/38 (54)