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We gained a lot of confidence by beating India in the ODI series: Faulkner

by   •  Last updated on 2020-04-13 16:34:33

James Faulkner, the Australia cricket team allrounder, feels totals in excess of 300 have become the new norm in One-Day International (ODI) cricket and that batting-friendly conditions on offer more often than not has seen a surge in high totals being posted around the world in ODIs. Such has become the nature of ODI cricket that having wickets in hand and not scoring close to 100 in the last 10 overs is a performance that can be considered poor on part of the batting team, said Faulkner on Monday (February 1), speaking ahead of Australia's three-match ODI series against New Zealand that starts on Wednesday.

"There's no reason why teams can't get 350 or 400. A lot of it just comes down to conditions," felt Faulkner. "Every team at the moment is setting up to go hard in the first 10, consolidate through the middle and try and have wickets in the shed to try and launch. Especially with the smaller boundaries I think if you find the ball isn't moving there will be high scores.

"More times than not at the moment 300 tends to be the base and every run over that is so valuable because every single batter in most teams can bat these days, so it makes it really tough for the bowlers. So if you're going into the last 10 only two down, if you're not getting 100 plus off that I don't think you've done well enough with the bat."

In the recently concluded ODI series between Australia and India, totals in excess of 300 were posted in four games while both teams registered 290-plus totals in one. Faulkner hardly got to spend quality time with the bat, having had to bat in the death overs and step on the accelerator straight away. "I tended to come out in the 49th-50th over a couple of times. I have to go from ball one, so I can't really get much of a judge on that. It was more probably my innings in Melbourne where I had to actually bat time and hang around with Maxi [Glenn Maxwell] to get the job done there," he said. "When I'm not having much of a hit I tend to look at it as a positive, that means that out batting order - the top half - are doing an exceptional job. So the more times I'm not batting, the more games we tend to win as a country, so that's a massive bonus. And I just have to make sure I'm training well, specifically for times when I come out.

"A lot of times it's for the last six-seven balls, so it's hard to get a gauge on how you are going because you have to go from ball one. Yeah, that's the (nature of the) game and as long as I'm contributing, whether it's with a 30 or 40, or whether it's hitting the first ball for four or six, I'm not fuss as long as we are getting the result as a team."

Australia won the first four ODIs against India, but ended up losing the last game of the series and were then handed a 3-0 drubbing in the Twenty20 Internationals. When asked if the latest results dented Australia confidence ahead of the New Zealand tour, Faulkner replied on the contrary. "If anything we gained a lot of confidence beating India early on in the series," he started. "After the first three games (ODIs), especially (considering) the team they are in the shorter formats, to chase the totals that we did and perform the way we did with new faces in our squad as well, more so with the bowling line-up, was a great bonus and achievement as a group, being really young.

"And then with the T20s, what were are seeing is mixing and matching at the moment, everyone's having a game to see where we are at with this format - looking back at the last 12 months we only played one T20 game. So you can't expect too much straight up. And we know at the end of the day that there's a big carrot, the T20 World Cup and it's a matter of getting ourselves ready for that and spend some time as a group playing together."

When asked if the series against New Zealand will act as a build-up for the multi-team event in India in March 2016, Faulkner chose not to look too far, stressing on the importance of taking it one game at a time. "I'm expecting a really tough series. I think you are going to see a really good brand of cricket with the bat and the ball, and a very good, fierce competition. I think everybody in our group is excited for that and I'm sure they [New Zealand] are as well," said Faulkner. "So we're just taking it one step at a time. At the moment it is this series (ODIs) that is coming up (that we are focussed on). And then the remainder of the series against New Zealand (T20Is), and then after that we'll worry about South Africa and the T20 World Cup. But we are just taking it game by game and not getting too far ahead of ourselves."

Indian Premier League (IPL) experience and knowledge of sub-continental conditions, that Faulkner and some of his team-mates possess, will hold the team in good stead when they head to India in March in quest of their maiden World T20 title, admitted the 25-year-old. "It goes without saying that anyone who has played not only in India but in sub-continent conditions consistently and have that experience, it's going to hold them in good shape," he said. "Obviously the IPL is a massive tournament and there's numerous Australia players now that have been involved in that - not only got to play but got to spend time over there while that tournament was on, training in those facilities, the conditions.

"I suppose the Shane Watsons, the Steve Smiths and the David Warners of the world, they spent a lot of time there, they can obviously give their feedback and thoughts on the conditions and help everyone else in the group, especially the younger players."