Sport Cricket ‘Australia can chase down any target’: Faulkner

‘Australia can chase down any target’: Faulkner

James Faulkner
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No target is too daunting for Australia thanks to the confidence instilled by coach Darren Lehmann, allrounder James Faulkner says.

Few could argue after Australia reeled in 310 with four balls to spare in their one-day international series opener against India in Perth on Tuesday.

Faulkner said Australia expected more big totals on a flat Gabba deck in Friday’s second ODI.

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However, Faulkner claimed no chase seemed out of reach thanks to Lehmann’s “go big or go home” approach.

Asked whether Perth had given them the confidence to reel in any target, Faulkner said: “Since Boof (Lehmann) has taken over as coach he has given us a hell of a lot of confidence as a batting group … to take on the game.

“He said the other night after the game he would rather see us bowled out for 200 trying to reach 300-plus than nudge it around and making a meal of it.

“I have a lot of confidence playing under him and I know every other player in the group does too to try and stretch our limits.”

Captain Steve Smith (149) led from the front in a stunning 242-run third-wicket stand with George Bailey (112), making light of India’s challenging target on a batsman-friendly Perth deck.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith smashed 149 to guide Australia home. Photo: Getty

It was Australia’s fourth-highest ODI stand, sparking the team’s third-highest ODI chase on home soil.

Earlier, India’s Rohit Sharma hit an unbeaten 171 to break Viv Richards’ record for the highest score against Australia in an ODI in Australia.

The Gabba may be known as a lively deck that provides something for the bowlers but Faulkner claimed fans should expect more of the same batting fireworks on Friday.

“I think everyone was quite surprised by how the wicket performed in Perth – it was obviously very flat,” he said.

“I am expecting the same sort of scenario here as well.

“I haven’t seen a one-day wicket that hasn’t been flat here for a fair while.”

That will be music to the ears of Shaun Marsh, who is expected to replace opener David Warner (paternity leave) in what would be his first ODI in almost a year.

Allrounder John Hastings replaces the rested Mitch Marsh.

However, it may not be so well received by rookie quicks Joel Paris and Scott Boland.

The pair were belted for a combined 0-127 in 18 overs by a Sharma-inspired India in Perth.

But Faulkner said Boland (0-74 off 10 overs) and left-armer Paris (0-53 off eight) should not be judged too harshly.

“I am not singling them out. It is a tough gig bowling … at Perth and here,” he said.

“(Pace) change-ups don’t usually grip like other grounds.

“Everyone got hit the other day.

“Both teams struggled due to the flat conditions.”


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