Australia vs India: 5 interesting ODI series that the two powerhouses played in the past

Australia vs India: 5 interesting ODI series that the two powerhouses played in the past

Most of the bilateral ODI series between Australia and India have been played on the Indian soil so far. However, India have won one bilateral series in Australia and it was the last time they toured Down Under.

Rohit Sharma Virat Kohli Jaipur ODI
Rohit Sharma Virat Kohli Jaipur ODI. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India will be making a return to international cricket later this month when they take on Australia in a full-fledged overseas tour. The Asian powerhouse last played an international series in February when their tour of New Zealand ended. Thereafter, cricket remained suspended for almost the entire year because of the coronavirus pandemic and now, things have slowly started to return to normal. The Indian Premier League has just been held successfully in the UAE and the mood is now set for an explosive series Down Under, considered one of the toughest on the planet.

India will play a three-ODI series to start with and it will be followed with a three-T20I series and a four-game Test series. Regular skipper Virat Kohli will play till the first Test of the series in Adelaide which will be a day-night affair. India-Australia series have always been a top draw, whether they are played in India or Australia, and particularly after the last tour when India accomplished a historic Test series win to pocket the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the excitement is even more. Can India retain the coveted trophy and extend their lead over the Kangaroos in the World Test Championship points table?

However, before we get into the longer format, the twin white-ball series will set up the stage. The ODI series will kick off in Sydney on November 27 where the second game will also be played on November 29. The final game will be played in Canberra on December 2.

The ODI series will also be a closely fought one since the hosts will be keen to avenge the 1-2 defeat against the Indians in the 2018-19 series. The man of the series on that occasion was Mahendra Singh Dhoni who hit three consecutive fifties to win it for India after the visitors trailed 0-1. This time, India will not see the ace keeper-batsman since he quit international cricket recently.

India’s rivalry with Australia in the 50-over format has always been engaging although the Aussies lead the Blue Jerseys 78-52 in 140 encounters till date and 10 games ending without a result. Down Under, India have tasted even less number of wins but registered their maiden win over Australia in a bilateral ODI series in their den in 2018-19. Can Kohli’s men re-run the show this time again?

Bilateral series between India and Australia in the ODIs have not been a regular affair for a long time. The two teams played their first bilateral series in 50-overs in India in 1984-85. The next ones happened, also in India, in 1986-87 and 2000-01. Australia continued to visit India for bilateral series in 50-overs in 2007-08, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2013-14. India played their first bilateral ODI series in Australia in 2015-16.

Australia came to India again in 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 while India played their second series Down Under in 2018-19. Overall, the two sides have played 12 bilateral series between them (10 in India, two in Australia) and both have won six series each. However, five of the six series that Australia won came on the Indian soil. India also won five home series against Australia in the ODIs.

Here we look at five bilateral series played between India and Australia in the 50-over formats in the past that generated huge excitement and interest among the supporters of both sides:

1. India beat Australia 2-1 in 3-match series in Australia in 2018-19

MS Dhoni of India
MS Dhoni. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

India were led by Kohli while Aaron Finch was in charge of Australia. The first match was played in Sydney on January 12, 2019. Australia won the toss and elected to bat and banking on half-centuries from Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb, the hosts scored 288 for 5 in 50 overs. For India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kuldeep Yadav took two wickets each. In response, Rohit Sharma slammed a majestic century (133 in 129 balls) but he did not get enough partners.

Dhoni scored 51 but took 96 balls in the process and India managed 254 for 9 wickets in 50 overs to lose by 34 runs. Jhye Richardson bagged four wickets and was adjudged the man of the match. Dhoni completed 10,000 runs in the ODIs in this match. India, however, made a solid comeback in the next match played in Adelaide on January 15. Australia won the toss and elected to bat again and a 131 (123 balls) from Shaun Marsh took them to 298 for 9 in 50 overs.

Bhuvneshwar and Mohammed Shami took four and three wickets, respectively. India came up with an equally strong reply spearheaded by captain Kohli who struck 104 in 112 balls while Dhoni produced a much better strike rate by scoring 55 not out in 54. Dinesh Karthik made a quick 25 not out in 14 to see India home in the final over with six wickets in hand. Kohli was adjudged the man of the match as India squared the series 1-1.

The third game in Melbourne on January 18 saw Kohli winning the toss and inviting the hosts to bat first. This time, the Aussies failed to come as good with the bat, thanks to a brilliant Yuzvendra Chahal who spun them out for 230 by claiming 6 for 42 in 10 overs which remains his best show in the 50-over format till date.

Handscomb’s 58 was the highest in the Australian innings while Khawaja (34) and Marsh (39) failed to overcome the Chahal challenge. India lost Rohit early but Dhoni’s 87 not out off 114 at no.4 ensured that the visitors never lost sight of the target. His unbeaten partnership of 121 runs with Kedar Jadhav (61 not out off 57) drove India home with four balls to spare and clinch the series. Chahal was picked as the man of the match.