Richardson not losing sleep over World Cup chances
Jhye Richardson appeals for a wicket. (AFP Image)

In the absence of the “Big Three”, Jhye Richardson stepped up in grand fashion during Australia’s 34-run win over India in the first ODI in Sydney. Richardson, playing only his fifth ODI, picked up career-best figures of 4/26, making a strong case for the World Cup. And even though Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood are expected to shepherd Australia’s fast bowling department in England starting May 30, the impact Richardson made should not be overlooked. (READ: Will remember Kohli’s wicket for a long time – Richadrson)

That said, the 22-year-old isn’t looking too far down the road and is rather focussing on the next two matches. Between now and the World Cup, a handful of matches remain for the five-time World Champions, and although Richardson is keen on grabbing all the opportunities given to him, he is not losing sleep over the prospect of a World Cup berth.

“My focus is on these two games coming up,” Richardson said after the match on Saturday. “Justin (Langer, head coach) has said it’s a great opportunity to be able to push your selection (case) for the World Cup. But we’ve still got a lot of white-ball cricket between now and then.”

“So, I think it’ll be for me to concentrate on these two games then if I’m lucky enough to get picked for the next tour, it’ll be concentrating on those games. Then if I get picked, I get picked. All I can concentrate on is what’s happening now.”

Richardson punctured India’s chase early in the innings, removing captain Virat Kohli for 3 and Ambati Rayudu for a duck in a space of three deliveries to leave India reeling at 4/3. Later, he returned to grab two more – of Dinesh Karthik and Ravindra Jadeja – to bring Australia closer to victory.

Besides the World Cup, another big series Australia will want to do well in is the Ashes. Like any young cricketer, Richardson’s “dream” is to help Australia defend the Ashes, in July. But for the time being, it is about assisting Australia in breaking their three-bilateral series losing streak.

“That’s the dream, I’d love to play an Ashes tour,” Richardson said. “Obviously if I keep going well then nothing is out of the question. But as I’ve said, my focus is here and now and we’ll go from there.”