After all the talk about India being the much better side, the obvious question to ask Virat Kohli was: did he get the answers he was looking for from all the experiments at the cost of a series defeat?
NEW DELHI: Opener Usman Khawaja struck his second century of the series to lead Australia to 272-9 in the winner-takes-all fifth one-day global against India on Wednesday.
The three confidence-building victories came after Australia had won just four of their past 26 completed one-dayers. It is fair to say that the Tamil Nadu all-rounder did his chances of going to the World Cup no harm, although the team might have loved to see one of those cameos with the bat translate into a match-winning innings.
"The resilience and fight that we showed - being down 2-0 it would have been easy to roll over. we've had our backs against the walls for quite a while now, so I'm really proud of the group".
Buoyed by their come-from-behind one-day series triumph in India, skipper Aaron Finch believes resurgent Australia have the blueprint in place to win the upcoming World Cup.
With the World Cup coming up quickly, Cummins said it would be a tough job for selectors to narrow down the top performers to just 15 players.
The next assignment for the Indian players is the IPL, which begins on March 23, and Kohli said that the onus will be on the individual player to approach the franchise if he needs a break in a bid to stay fresh for the World Cup.
His huge tally was enough to earn him both the man of the match and man of the series awards. Khawaja was also the highest run scorer in the series and have put the Australian selectors in dilemma for the World Cup squad.
A collapse of 6-54 followed Khawaja's dismissal but Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson ensured the tail wagged, taking 42 runs off the final four overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed three wickets while fellow paceman Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja took two each.
Ashton Turner, who starred with 84 not out as Australia chased down a record 359 to win the preceding game, scored 20 on Wednesday after being preferred ahead of Shaun Marsh.
The win is Australia's third in a row of the tour, seeing them overturn a 2-0 series deficit.
A 37-run win in the fifth and deciding ODI in Delhi was always in reach of Australia with a competitive score and tight bowling setting up the result. The series came against the backdrop of India blaming Pakistan for the Pulwama attack and then crossing the Line of Control into the Pakistani airspace.
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