Maxwell & Marsh Shine, Australia Ends Losing Streak vs. India Ahead of World Cup
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Maxwell & Marsh Shine, Australia Ends Losing Streak vs. India Ahead of World Cup

Despite losing the series 2-1 to India, Australia, led by Pat Cummins, delivered a remarkable performance in Rajkot on Wednesday. The return of key players Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc proved pivotal as Australia secured a commanding 66-run victory over the home team. Maxwell excelled with four wickets, while Mitchell Marsh came close to a century. Australia set a challenging target of 352 runs in the first innings.

Australia ended a disappointing five-match losing streak to claim a 66-run win against India in their final One Day International meeting before the pair square off in their opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup.
India came into the game having already won the series, beating Australia in their opening two matches, but it was Pat Cummins’ side who impressed on Wednesday night in Rajkot.
Australia haven’t been in excellent form coming into the 2023 World Cup, but looked sharp both in attack and with the bat in hand and will hope they can replicate performances like this as they chase their sixth World Cup title in October.

They were also buoyed by the returns of Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell, with the fast bowler being ruled out of the side’s warm ups thus far with shoulder and groin injuries, while Maxwell had experienced soreness in his leg during their T20 tour of South Africa.
But Maxwell showed no signs of rustiness on his turn, stepping straight back into the action to lead Australia’s attack, taking four wickets for 40 runs, dismissing India’s captain Rohit Sharma with a simply outstanding catch, before taking Virat Kholi’s wicket in what was an impressive performance.

“I think we’ve lost the series and India played very well in those first two games,” Marnus Labuschagne said before lauding Australia’s returning stars.
“But it was nice to see all the big guns back today. Everyone seemed to gel and everyone contributed in their own way in this game and to get the win is obviously very satisfying.”
Jasprit Bumrah equally impressed for India, taking a trio of wickets to dismiss all of Maxwell, Labuschagne and Alex Carey. Mitchell Marsh, however, posted a score of 96, agonisingly being dismissed just shy of his century.

Maxwell & Marsh Shine, Australia Ends Losing Streak vs. India Ahead of World Cup

Australia won the toss and elected to bat first, with Bumrah steaming in to attack David Warner to open the match, but the 36-year-old batsman got off to an impressive start, sweeping away a half-century in 32 balls, before he scooped a ball from Prasidh Krishna behind to KL Rahul, who made no mistake in dismissing the opener.
It wasn’t long after his dismissal that his opening partner Marsh secured his half century, with the Perth Scorchers all-rounder partnering with Steve Smith, to hit an impressive 96, Australia’s top individual score for the day.
In total, Marsh smashed a whopping 13 fours and three sixes but he’ll be kicking himself after playing a wild cut shot off Krishna in a bid to bring up his hundred, sending his shot out to Kuldeep Yadav at cover point, whose safe hands got the breakthrough India needed.
Smith followed not long after, leaving the crease on 74 after he opted not to review an LBW decision, even with Labuschange watching on from the other end. Alex Carey would replace him, but survived only five overs, bringing up a score of 11, but was caught out by Kholi.
And India soon took things up a gear, with Bumrah sneaking a yorker under Maxwell’s bat to hit the stumps, before Yadav took Cameron Green’s wicket, while Bumrah got his third, dismissing Labushange for 72.

Pat Cummins and Starc would come out to post a score of 20 runs between them, before posting a target of 353.
It was the highest score Australia have made in their last five matches, and they were impressive with the ball in hand too.
Starc would open the bowling for Australia, but it took them sometime to make a breakthrough, with Washington Sundar and Sharma building up a score of 74, before Maxwell removed the former.
Maxwell took a second not long after, with the Australian managing to hold on to a shot back at him from Sharma, dismissing the Indian captain who had struck six sixes to amass 81 from 57 balls.
It was a big wicket and gave the Aussies some momentum, with Maxwell taking Kholi’s wicket not long after, before Starc got off the mark to send Rahul marching, with the help of Carey behind the stumps.

Maxwell was the catalyst for his four-wicket haul, removing Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav in a single over. Following suit, Josh Hazelwood, Pat Cummins, and Tanveer Sangha each contributed by taking the wickets of Kuldeep, Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja.

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