After an enforced break like no other, international cricket returns for the Indian men’s cricket team.
Virat Kohli and Co take on Aaron Finch’s Australia in their backyard starting from Friday. After “soft quarantine” that helped the tour to go ahead, life in the bubble will begin for both teams as the first of three ODIs starts in Sydney, followed by three Twenty20s next week and then the Test series.
Kohli’s squad have been in isolation since their arrival a fortnight ago, although they have been allowed to train within a bio-secure bubble. It has been an equally odd build-up for Australia, with the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith and Pat Cummins – who played in the Indian Premier League – also undergoing the mandatory 14 days of quarantine, which ended Thursday.
The lack of international cricket this year makes it hard to determine form, although Australia have the slight advantage of having played the white-ball series in England where they beat 50-over world champions in September.
India haven’t played together since the tour of New Zealand in February, when they clinched the Twenty20 series but were whitewashed 3-0 in the ODIs.
India’s ODI record in Australia
In countries where India have played at least 10 ODIs, they have the second worst Win/Loss Ratio in Australia (worse only in New Zealand).
(Scroll sideways to view all the columns in the tables below)
India's ODI record away from home
|in Sri Lanka||86||43||34||0||9||1.264|
|in South Africa||53||22||27||1||3||0.814|
|in West Indies||45||19||23||0||3||0.826|
|in New Zealand||50||18||29||1||2||0.620|
In a land where India’s record has been, at best, mixed over the decades, arguably two of the country’s greatest One Day International triumphs came in Australia – the World Series in 1985 and the CB Series in 2008.
The World Series cricket was an incredible moment in Indian history, almost as important as the World Cup triumph that preceded it. If there were some who thought West Indies lost the World Cup more than India won it, then the 1985 World Championship of Cricket victory went a long way towards changing that perception. It established that team as one of the best of that time.
India's ODI record vs AUS in AUS
|Teams||Matches||IND win||AUS won||NR||India's W/L|
|AUS v IND||51||13||36||2||0.361|
India were undefeated right through that tournament in Australia. They beat Pakistan, England and the hosts in the league stage, before knocking-out New Zealand in the semi-final. And in the summit clash, they outclassed Pakistan once again with an eight-wicket victory. The player of the tournament was, of course, Ravi Shastri.
If 1985 was a chapter after a World Cup win, years later the CB Series triumph in 2008 proved to be the preface for another glorious global title for India. Under Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India began working towards the 2011 World Cup from early on, and a new-look side created history by clinching the tri-series. And for Sachin Tendulkar, the wait for an ODI century in Australia came to an end as he stepped up big-time in the best of three finals.
India’s two World Cup campaigns in Australia were contrasting as well. The results in 1992 were a source of disappointment, with a win against Pakistan the only real highlight (followed by a thrilling 1-run defeat against Australia). The 2015 tournament went much better than many Indian fans had anticipated as MS Dhoni and Co reached the semi-final.
Series by series record of India in Australia
|World Series Cup (Australia, India, New Zealand) 1980/81||Australia||10||3||7||0||0||0.428|
|World Championship of Cricket, 1984/85||India||5||5||0||0||0||-|
|World Series Cup (Australia, India, New Zealand) 1985/86||Australia||12||5||7||0||0||0.714|
|World Series (Australia, India, West Indies) 1991/92||Australia||10||3||6||1||0||0.500|
|World Cup 1992||Pakistan||5||1||3||0||1||0.333|
|Tri-series (Australia, India, Pakistan) 1999/00||Australia||8||1||7||0||0||0.142|
|Tri-series (Australia, India, Zimbabwe) 2003/04||Australia||10||5||5||0||0||1.000|
|Tri-series (Australia, India, Sri Lanka) 2007/08||India||10||5||3||0||2||1.666|
|Tri-series (Australia, India, Sri Lanka) 2011/12||Australia||8||3||4||1||0||0.750|
|Tri-Series (Australia, England, India) 2014/15||Australia||4||0||3||0||1||0.000|
|World Cup 2015||Australia||6||5||1||0||0||5.000|
|Bilateral series, 2015/16||Australia||5||1||4||0||0||0.250|
|Bilateral Series, 2018/19||India||3||2||1||0||0||2.000|
Dhoni has captained India in the most matches in Australia, and has led the team to wins 14 times from 32 matches. The run in the 2015 World Cup played a major part in that, when his team reached the semi-final on the back of terrific bowling performances. It’s early days for him, but Kohli would like to keep up his high Win/Loss Ratio after leading the side to a series win last time around.
Indian captains in ODIs in Australia
Against Australia away from home, India’s record has improved since the lows of 1990s.
India's ODI record vs Australia away
Individually, it is no surprise to see Tendulkar at the top of the run-scorers chart for India but as mentioned above, his wait for a century Down Under was a long one. However, it ended in style at Sydney Cricket Ground in 2008.
The table below is also an indicator why India will need Kohli to be at his best while missing the services of Rohit Sharma: they occupy No 2 and No 3 positions with five centuries each.
India's leading run-scorers in ODIs in AUS
Just against Australia in Australia, Rohit’s record is even better than Tendulkar’s.
India's leading run-scorers Vs AUS in AUS
When one talks about India’s bowling performances in Australia, the 2015 World Cup was one of the highlights. Over the years, Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar too had memorable ODI spells Down Under. Kapil Dev, of course, leads the way in terms of wickets taken.
India's leading wicket-takers in ODIs in AUS
India's leading wicket-takers vs AUS in AUS
Who are you backing to come out on top in this ODI series between India and Australia?
All statistics courtesy ESPNCricinfo Statsguru
(With AFP inputs)