Aussies persist with Maxwell at No. 7
Australia expects to stay the course with all-rounder Glenn Maxwell at No.7 despite criticism from Shane Warne and India plotting vengeance in Adelaide, says boom debutant Jason Behrendorff.
Australia humbled India by 34 runs in Saturday's one-day series opener at the SCG but the strategy to deploy Maxwell in the lower order was criticised by former Test selector Mark Waugh and legend Warne.
Australia posted 288 at the SCG against India but England is World Cup favourite for its ability to routinely record imposing 300 totals with an average run rate of 6.25.
"It's tough for Maxy to bat higher with the batting order so we will see how he goes but at the moment I think we have a pretty good balance in the side," said Behrendorff who claimed the key wickets of MS Dhoni (51) and Shikhar Dhawan (0).
Usman Khawaja (59, 81) and Shaun Marsh (54, 70) responded to Aaron Finch's (6) ongoing form slump with a 92-run stand that soaked up 111 balls. Australia prefers to have Maxwell's high octane stroke-play in reserve if required.
"I am not too sure what his right position is but No.7 is a pretty crucial role in that middle order," said Behrendorff.
"If we can have Maxi in that the last few overs we know he can hit it to any part of the ground and that is where probably if he gets a few more overs with the ball, you can justify him at No.7."
While Maxwell faced five balls on Saturday, India's star opener Rohit Sharma (133) believes the promotion of former skipper MS Dhoni up the order is "ideal" despite Ambati Rayudu's hold on the No.4 slot.
Left-armer Behrendorff says Australia is ready for the wrath of India - rated the one nation capable of stopping England's quest for a World Cup triumph on home soil.
"Yes we are up 1-0 but you look at their side, they are a class outfit so we will expect them to come out firing and give us a really good fight," said Behrendorff.
"We are feeling really good and they are probably hurting after a loss."
Australia could recall leg-spinner Adam Zampa in place of Nathan Lyon in Adelaide but Behrendorff doesn't expect many changes.
"I think it will be pretty settled now we have the win first up but you never know what selections will do and rotations of bowlers," he said.
Rookie speedster Jhye Richardson (4-26) backed by Behrendorff (2-39) cut down India with all the firepower Australia lacked in the second half of the Test series against India.
Richardson demonstrated rare prowess with the new and old ball to secure his best one-day figures in Australia's fourth win in 22 completed matches.
Australia's win and performances of Sandgropers Richardson and Behrendorff injected welcome "confidence" in a World Cup year.
"A relatively new team in the ODI set up to be able to knock off India and play really well with everything we have coming up is going to be great," said Behrendorff.
"I would love to be involved in the World Cup."
Behrendorff is focusing on white ball cricket after a debilitating run of back injuries that left him bed ridden in late 2017. Claiming Dhawan in his first over 'settled' the left-armer.
"It has been a really tough road the last few years but to get some white ball cricket and continuity playing again and get the chance to play for my country is unreal," said Behrendorff.
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