Gillette ODI Series v India
Behrendorff under injury cloud
Australia likely to take a cautious approach for the third ODI with Jason Behrendorff managing a sore back
Martin Smith in Melbourne
17 January 2019, 02:06 PM AEST
Luckless fast bowler Jason Behrendorff is managing a sore back and is under a cloud for the series-deciding ODI against India on Friday.
The left-armer has a history of back problems and the Australians will likely take a cautious approach for the clash at the MCG.
The Aussies are yet to settle on their XI for the match, with captain Aaron Finch confirming paceman Billy Stanlake would be the likely inclusion should Behrendorff be ruled out.“Jason’s being monitored,” Finch said.
“He’s had back issues in the past so it’s about managing him through this series and further forward.
“We’re going to have a chat about that and speak to the medicos.”
The only other likely change the Australians might consider would be a recall for leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who was left out of the opening two matches in favour of Nathan Lyon.
Lyon didn’t take a wicket in the matches in Sydney and Adelaide, but Finch praised the Test spinner’s performance as he aims to be Australia’s frontline spin option at this year’s World Cup.
“I think he’s been really impressive,” Finch said.
“In Adelaide, there’s obviously a short square boundary and I thought he bowled really well, quite defensively … his role was pretty important.
“Anytime the ball has been tossed up, Rohit Sharma hit a couple (of boundaries) off him in the first game and Dhoni the other day.
“Obviously not getting a wicket, he’d have liked a bit more return for that.
“When he keeps bowling that well, he will get rewarded eventually.”
Behrendorff put his first-class career on hold this summer and eased back to top-level cricket via the limited-overs format after another crippling back injury.
While he still harbours ambition to play Test cricket one day, the left-armer says his white-ball only approach this season has been vindicated by his inclusion in both Australia’s ODI and T20 sides.
"It's something we spoke about at length at the end of last season in particular, because I've had recurrent (injuries), the same ones over the last couple of years," Behrendorff said in November.
"It's a decision we didn't make lightly but something we thought, for the longevity of my career, to give me a bit more time now (to recover) has been really good.”
Victory for the Australians on Friday would hand them their first series win in almost two years having won just four of their past 23 one-day internationals.
Having re-jigged their batting line-up in this series around recalls for Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb, Finch said the improvement in his side’s batting has been the major positive of the series so far.
But the skipper added securing the trophy on Friday night, after losing campaigns against England (twice), India, South Africa, New Zealand and at the Champions Trophy in the past two years, would be a major boost.
“It’s been a while since we’ve won a series,” Finch said.
“There’s been a lot of improvement and a lot to be proud of so far.
“But winning the series is the focus.”
Gillette ODI Series v India
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Vijay Shankar, Shubman Gill
First ODI: Australia won by 34 runs
Second ODI: India win by six wickets
Third ODI: January 18, MCG (D/N)