Backs against wall, Aussies stay upbeat

07 March 2019

Australia haven't won three straight ODIs in India since 2003, but visitors' remain optimistic after narrow defeats

Australia will need to snap a 16-year hoodoo if they are to win the ODI series against India, but allrounder Marcus Stoinis believes his side can re-write history.

Staring at a 2-0 series ledger in favour of India after losses in Hyderabad and Nagpur, Australia must win the final three matches to leave the subcontinent as series champions.

The last time Australia beat India three times in a row on Indian soil in the 50-over format was in late 2003, a team led by Ricky Ponting that took out the TVS Cup, a triangular ODI series also featuring New Zealand.

But Stoinis takes solace in the T20I series win that preceded the ODIs and how closely fought the first two matches have been in the 50-over campaign.

Australia have been left to rue missed chances, particularly on Tuesday night where Stoinis made a valiant 52 before losing in the final over by eight runs. 

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"We won the two Twenty20s leading into this, they were two big games. We've lost two close games after that," Stoinis said when asked what gives him confidence Australia can sweep the remainder of the series.

"We've had our opportunities to win both games and it hasn't happened in India.

"We know how close the two teams are. Take your opportunities, put them under pressure and hopefully we win the next three."

While Australia have their backs against the wall, the ODI side is far removed from the one that was trampled 5-0 by England last June.

Under coach Justin Langer, Australia are yet to win an ODI series but have shown stark improvement in each contest, starting with a 2-1 loss to South Africa last November before putting it to India at home in January's 2-1 defeat.

Now the Australians are going toe-to-toe against world No.2 India in their own conditions, and Stoinis is encouraged by how his teammates are taking it upon themselves to lead the way.

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"I feel like the team is gelling and was come a long way since England last year," he said.

"I feel like individually players are stepping up; we saw 'Maxi' (Glenn Maxwell) in the Twenty20s, even the way Petey Handscomb batted last night I thought he was close to cracking the game open for us. 'Uzzie' (Usman Khawaja) started really well, 'Finchy' (skipper Aaron Finch) is coming back to some form last night, looked good, Patty Cummins bowled the house down.

"So there's people that are starting to individually come up then it's collectively as a team that's the next step."

To stay alive in the five-match series, Australia first must win the third ODI in Ranchi, which starts on Friday.

Qantas Tour of India

First T20: Australia won by three wickets

Second T20: Australia won by seven wickets

First ODI: India won by six wickets

Second ODI: India won by eight runs

Third ODI: March 8, Ranchi

Fourth ODI: March 10, Mohali

Fifth ODI: March 13, Delhi

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Australia Men

India Men

India v Australia ODIs - Men's