Sydney 2015. Mitchell Johnson has the final laugh of the season. The fierce rivalry comes to a halt. He bangs it in short, Virat Kohli top-edges and gone. India's fortunes shrink. Australia eventually makes it to the final and go on to clinch their fifth World Cup.
Sydney 2016. MS Dhoni is dismissed. India needs another 6 off 4 balls. Manish Pandey delicately opens the bat’s face to guide the ball to the third-man boundary. It's his maiden international century. A ball later, India successfully chase down 331. The guests avert a whitewash embarrassment.
Sydney 2019. Rohit Sharma’s herculean efforts aren’t enough to save India from a 34-run loss. Australia goes up 1-0 in the ODI series. India pulls off back-to-back wins to clinch the series 2-1.
Sydney 2020. The spotlight is back to the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) where India begin their full tour of Australia with the One-Day International (ODI) series. We will come to that.
Over 35 years ago, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) witnessed one of India’s greatest sporting moments. Already the world champions, India had beaten Pakistan in the final of the World Championship of Cricket. Ravi Shastri, the Player of the Tournament, was gifted an Audi, which he rode across the MCG greens along with his teammates – providing Indian cricket one of its postcard moments.
As the head coach of the Indian team, Shastri will look to relive some of those golden moments from Down Under.
The much-awaited India’s tour of Australia begins with the ODI leg on Friday. Let’s dive into history and dig out interesting nuggets from India’s Australian ODI chronicles.
In the past forty years, India has won 39 of their 96 ODIs in Australia. That’s approximately 42.4 per cent success. The 96 ODIs have spanned over 11 tournaments (two World Cups, one World Championship and eight tri-series) and two bilateral series. Apart from the World Championship of Cricket, the only other tournament that India won in Australia was the 2008 CB Series.
When it comes to facing the Australians at their backyard, India’s overall record cuts a sorry picture. They have won only 13 ODIs against the hosts in Australia and lost 36.
Historically, Australia has been the greatest cricketing side, having won five ODI World Cups (no other team has won more than two).
Since 2010, India has had the upper-hand with an 18-17 ODI record, but when it comes to playing in Australia, the numbers look 4-10 in favour of the hosts. To India’s credit, they won 2-1 in Australia in the bilateral series in 2019.
Trivia: India played their first ODI in Australia in 1980. However, the first Indian to register an ODI century in Australian soil was Sourav Ganguly, in 2000.
Most runs in India-Australia ODIs
Highest individual scores | India vs Australia ODIs
- Rohit Sharma 209 (158) | Bengaluru, 2013
- Sachin Tendulkar 175 (141) | Hyderabad, 2009
- Rohit Sharma 171 (163)* | Perth, 2016
- George Bailey 156 (114) | Nagpur, 2013
- Steve Smith 149 (135) | Perth, 2016
Most prolific Indian batsmen in Australia (ODIs)
Most wickets in India-Australia ODIs
Best bowling figures | India vs Australia ODIs
- Murali Karthik 10-3-27-6 | Mumbai, 2007
- Ken MacLeay 11.5-3-29-6 | Nottingham, 1983
- Ajit Agarkar 9.3-1-42-6 | Melbourne, 2004
- Yuzvendra Chahal 10-0-42-6 | Melbourne, 2019
- Mitchell Starc 10-2-43-6 | Melbourne, 2015
Most wicket-takers from India in Australia (ODIs)
India has played 19 ODIs at the SCG that have yielded a win or loss result. Out of this, India has won four and lost 14. Against Australia, the equation reads 2-14 in favour of the hosts.
Rohit Sharma has almost a thousand runs against Australia at their backyard. His runs come at an average of 58.2 and a strike rate of 91. No other Indian batsmen, not even Virat Kohli (Ave 44.9, SR 87.6) or Sachin Tendulkar (Ave 30.8, SR 70.7) have come close in replicating Rohit’s dominance against Australia in Australia in ODIs. Apart from the stated stats, Rohit’s absence further dents India’s hopes as they eye a repeat of 2019, which will only be an extraordinary task considering the fact that David Warner and Steven Smith are now back in the side.
Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer displayed good touch during the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL). These three and KL Rahul (who also has the job to don the keeping gloves), will hold the key to negotiate the strong Australian bowling attack. Barring the top five, India does not have specialist batters to take it deep, and therefore, the extra onus will lie on the top order. It will be interesting to see how the all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja counter the Aussie bowling in case of early wickets.
From the bowling front, much of India’s fortunes will rely on Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Yuzvendra Chahal. It won't be a surprise if the team management decides to rotate between Shami and Bumrah to keep them fresh for the Tests. India will miss the services of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
India probable XI: Mayank Agarwal, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Australia have a settled line-up and have all the bases covered. In Warner and Aaron Finch, they have two most prolific openers in ODIs. The rise of Marnus Labuschagne has further solidified the middle-order that has Smith. The hosts will look to encash Marcus Stoinis’ IPL riches. Their strength, however, lies in their bowling that has three quality pacers in Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
Australia probable XI: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa
Prediction: Australia clearly have an upper-hand. Also, India haven't played a limited-overs fixture since February, whereas Australia won a series in England in September.
ODI Rankings: India 2, Australia 4; | Batting – Kohli (1), Rohit (2), Finch (7), Warner (8) | Bowling – Bumrah (2), Cummins (6), Hazlewood (7)
Indian ODI Squad: Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul (wk & vc), Sanju Samson (wk), Mayank Agarwal, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Australian ODI Squad: Aaron Finch (c), Pat Cummins (vc), Alex Carey (wk), Matthew Wade (wk), David Warner, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschange, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Moises Henriques, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Andrew Tye, Mitchell Starc, Daniel Sams
1st ODI: Sydney | November 27 (Friday) | 9.10 IST
2nd ODI: Sydney | November 29 (Sunday) | 9.10 IST
3rd ODI: Canberra | December 2 (Wednesday) | 9.10 IST