I trust my skills: Ashton Turner

Turner was playing just his second ODI and when he came into bat but he turned the game in the Aussies’ favour

By Our Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 12.03.19, 4:34 AM
  • Updated 12.03.19, 4:34 AM
  • 3 mins read
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Ashton Turner in Mohali on Sunday (PTI)

For someone having hardly any experience of playing international cricket in India, what Ashton Turner did for Australia in Mohali on Sunday was massive.

Turner was playing just his second ODI and when he came into bat, the required run-rate had gone beyond nine runs an over and to make matters worse, Australia had lost centurion Peter Handscomb as well.

But Turner, albeit with a bit of luck, ensured he turned the game in the Aussies’ favour. For a newcomer to achieve the feat against bowlers known to do quite well at the death was certainly a monumental effort.

It was a “surreal feeling” for Turner. It had to be.

“At the stage I came in, from ball one it was getting harder and harder to bat. So, I thought of getting a few away early.

“The ball didn’t swing much because of dew. But looking at what I did thereafter, I’m still pinching myself, really,” Turner told reporters late on Sunday, after his unbeaten 84 off 43 balls helped Australia chase down a mammoth 359-run target and level the series 2-2.

Turner never faced the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav before, but he trusted his skills. The skills, which are fundamental for a batsman in limited-overs cricket…

“I haven’t faced Indian bowlers before. So, it’s a bit of a weird feeling, a surreal feeling having performed against world-class death bowlers.

“For me, I think it was just fortunate to be in such a situation. I had no choice as it was a do-or-die situation. I just had to go for the shots.

“I haven’t played much international cricket, which tends to create some doubts. But I do trust my skills. I’m eager to adapt to these conditions as best as I can,” he emphasised.

Handscomb, another architect of Australia’s record run-chase, is confident that Turner would go a long way in international cricket.

“Ashton is an amazing player. We have seen what he has done in the Big Bash League (for Perth Scorchers) for the past couple of years. We knew he could get the job done.

“The way he operated against (Jasprit) Bumrah was quite amazing. This knock will give him so much confidence going forward,” Handscomb said.

Handscomb said that once Turner started hitting, everyone in the dressing room became a bit superstitious. “That was awesome. No was moving around with all those superstitions coming into play. That’s incredible.

“To see him come in at the international stage and play an innings of this kind is phenomenal.”

On a personal front, Handscomb termed Australia’s victory in Mohali as the “best match of his career” so far, something that would give his team the momentum ahead of the World Cup in England and Wales.

Handscomb hit his maiden ODI century and added 192 with Usman Khawaja to set up the platform for young Turner to launch a final assault.

“It is a lovely feeling. I have no words to describe my feeling. This was the best match of my career so far. This win gives us a great momentum for the decider and then the World Cup.

“I am just glad that I contributed in the victory. That we have gained great momentum is even more important,” he emphasised.

On his maiden century, Handscomb said: “I am happy. I did not know I was going to play ODIs again and it’s funny how things change.

“It’s nice to get an opportunity to play for Australia and take it. The faith of selectors to keep me in that was nice. To get it in this game was pretty special.”

As the dew set in, Handscomb felt that he and Khawaja could play their natural game as there wasn’t much spin on offer. “The dew definitely made it difficult for India’s wrist spinners. Conditions became difficult for them. “They are very good bowlers, but I think in this game, we also played them very well,” he said.

During their 192-run stand, Khawaja and he didn’t talk much, revealed the right-handed batsman. “Uzzi and I didn’t talk much. We just left each other to play our own games. It was a very good batting pitch.

“Once the dew came on, we noticed there wasn’t much spin, which helped us play our natural game,” he said.

Handscomb was also happy with the fact that Australia have been able to chase down big totals in the tour irrespective of formats. “High-scoring chase is always special. It just gives you so much competition.

“We chased down 191 in Bangalore (in the second and T20I) and here (in Mohali), we proved that it wasn’t a fluke,” he pointed out.