Jake Fraser-McGurk has given the cricket world a tantalising taste of what promises to be an exciting career after helping Australia consign the West Indies to an unwanted slice of history. With the Aussies chasing just 87 for victory after tearing through the Windies batters in less than 25 overs, Fraser-McGurk smashed 41 runs off just 18 balls as the home side sealed a crushing eight-wicket victory and 3-0 series clean sweep.
The Aussies still had 43.1 overs (or 259 balls) to spare, making the comprehensive flogging of the West Indies the shortest men's ODI ever played in Australia. The match lasted just three hours - including the innings break - with the performance from the West Indies described as "embarrassing" and "pathetic" across the cricket world.
It did mark the beginning of something special for young gun Fraser-McGurk, whose swashbuckling innings took fans by storm and drew comparisons with big-hitting Aussie excitement machine, Glenn Maxwell. Fraser-McGurk's clean hitting, aggression and at times unorthodox shot-making was very reminiscent of Maxwell and left viewers in awe on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old's quick-fire 41 included five boundaries and three massive sixes in one over, before he was eventually caught after attempting another big shot down the ground. The exhibition of big-hitting had Aussie skipper Steve Smith singing the batter's praises after the match, with fans also taking to social media to hail the newest star of Australian cricket.
Cricket world in awe of Jake Fraser-McGurk
“He’s certainly not short of confidence. Cool to see someone come in at the age of 21 and play with such freedom and no fear at all,” Smith said. “I’m sure he’s going to have some learnings along the way. But the way he’s playing right now is exciting for everyone to watch.
“He’s certainly got all the shots around the ground. I haven’t seen a lot of him play against spin yet but from what I’ve seen, he’s powerful. A couple of shots he actually played tonight reminded me a lot of (Glenn Maxwell), the way the ball was coming off the bat and the swing he has.”
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 6, 2024
Regardless of opposition or relevance of the match, this blitzkrieg from Jake Fraser-McGurk was nearly up there with that era-defining T20I debut from David Warner in 2009. Keep him in your sights. All-format star in the making surely #AusvWI
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) February 6, 2024
Fraser-McGurk bats like he needs to win his game on the PlayStation because dinner is ready and waiting
— Oliver Caffrey (@ollycaffrey) February 6, 2024
— CricBlog ✍ (@cric_blog) February 6, 2024
Fraser-McGurk faces a tough task muscling his way to the top of the Aussie order when everyone is fit and available, with the likes of David Warner, Travis, Head, Josh Inglis and Smith among those arguably ahead of him in the pecking order. The 21-year-old admitted as much after the match but was just thrilled to get a taste of international cricket for Australia.
"It's good to be able to have some self-belief if I ever get picked again," he said post-match. "To know that I can get out there and do it at the highest level, personally it's great and to come away with a 3-0 series win is even better.
"I think that's just sort of the way I've gone about it this year and that's the change in mindset. It's really helped me to go out there and play with freedom. You need to get the coach's backing and especially your teammates' backing. If they're happy with it, by all means go out there and play with freedom."
West Indies condemned over 'embarrassing' display
The West Indies' innings got off to the worst possible start, with opener Kjorn Ottley branded an "idiot" by Aussie great and commentator Mark Waugh for not reviewing an LBW dismissal that actually took a big inside edge off his bat. “He’s smashed it — what an idiot,” Waugh remarked. “He’s smashed it. It sounded like there was two noises. My goodness, what are they doing? That is just unforgivable.”
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 6, 2024
The wicket was the first of four for Aussie quick and man-of-the-series Xavier Bartlett (4-21 off 7.1), who continued his impressive form from game one with another bowling masterclass. Fellow paceman Lance Morris (2-13 off 4.3) also impressed with the ball before he had to leave the field with a side strain, in worrying signs ahead of Australia's Test tour of New Zealand.
While the Aussie bowlers thrived, the Windies batters toiled, going from 1-38 after the first ten overs to be all out for 86 in the proceeding 14 overs. The visitors lost their last six wickets for just 15 runs, including the shocking run out of Matthew Forde for a second-ball duck after a horrible mix-up with teammate Roston Chase.
Waugh was among those to describe it as an "embarrassing" batting display from the former cricket powerhouse. "That's not even close to international standard batting," Waugh said. "[It was] embarrassing to be honest. It was a good batting track - there was a bit of swing around early - but that's not good enough. Individually, those batsmen need to have a look at themselves. Athanaze got 32 and he batted pretty well ... the rest aren't even worth talking about."
Pathetic batting from Windies
— Ashutosh Das (@Ashutos73382533) February 6, 2024
This is an embarrassing batting performance from the West Indies. By far their worst of the summer. #AUSvWI
— Stacey❤💙🏆 (@_Stacey1987) February 6, 2024
Windies back to the windies we expect them to be. 86 all out. There is a reason why they didn't qualify for the ODI WC.A bunch of weak minded,lethargic and highly unskilled cricketers. Really pathetic watching this team play ODI cricket ATM!
— Troll cricket unlimitedd (@TUnlimitedd) February 6, 2024
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