India begin their World Cup campaign against Australia in Chennai on Sunday in the 150th clash in One-Day Internationals between two of cricket’s superpowers.

Two-time champions India are hunting for a first major title on home turf since the 2011 World Cup win under MS. Dhoni. But in a limited-overs rivalry stretching back to 1980, it is five-time World Cup winners Australia who have had the upper hand.

Australia have 83 wins to India’s 56 with 10 matches ending in a no-result.

India come into the World Cup as the number one ranked ODI team after a crushing win over Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final, and then beating Australia 2-1 in three ODIs at home.

Five-time winners Australia remain one of the favourites even after losing the three-match ODIseries in India in the lead-up to the World Cup. However, after losing the opening two matches in India last month, they bounced back with a big consolation win.

David Warner, Mitchell Marsh and Marnus Labuschagne hit half-centuries in the win, and returning Glenn Maxwell returned career-best figures of 4-40 with his off-spin. Maxwell struck an impressive 77 in the team’s second warm-up against Pakistan and skipper Pat Cummins said they are raring to go.

Conditions and pitch report

A look at the temperatures in Chennai will tell you that 32° isn’t so bad in this extremely hot October. But still, excessive heat and humidity is to be expected when India take on Australia at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.

The last three ODIs at the venue have seen two India-Australia (2023, 2017) fixtures and one ODI between India and West Indies. The pitch in Chennai, conducive to spin, saw Adam Zampa star in the ODI played in March. Expect spinners to come in handy again.

Key players

India: To start off, Shubman Gill has been in terrific form this year and finished with 178 runs in two matches against Australia. But with him ruled out, the next player to watch out against Australia is Virat Kohli who has scored 2228 runs in 45 innings against Australia, including eight centuries and 12 half-centuries. If Ashwin Ravichandran also makes it to the starting XI, the local boy can make use of the favourable conditions on offer. In the three ODIs he has played at this venue so far, he picked up five wickets.

Australia: As mentioned, the key to Australia’s performance in Chennai will again be in the key hands of their primary spinner Zampa. Additionally, on the Chennai pitch, one can expect Glenn Maxwell, who has been looking good since his return from injury, to stand out too. In the solitary ODI he played against India in the three-match series, he picked up 4/40. He failed against Netherlands in the warm-up match but scored a 77 against Pakistan in the next warm-up match.

India v Australia head-to-head record

Last 10 meetings:

19/01/2020: Chennai - India won by 7 wickets

27/11/2020: Sydney - Australia won by 66 runs

29/11/2020: Sydney - Australia won by 51 runs

02/12/2020: Canberra - India won by 13 runs

17/03/2023: Mumbai - India won by 5 wickets

19/03/2023: Visakhapatnam - Australia won by 10 wickets

22/03/2023: Kolkata - Australia won by 21 runs

22/09/2023: Mohali - India won by 5 wickets

24/09/2023: Indore - India won by 99 runs

27/09/2023: Rajkot - Australia won by 56 runs


India: 56 wins

Australia: 83 wins

Tied: 0

No Result: 10

The match will be available to stream on Disney+Hotstar and on Star Sports.

With inputs from AFP