Australia vs India: Looking back at all their bilateral ODI series

India and Australia meet each other frequently in the ODI arena and out of the 128 matches they have played till now, the Australians hold a 73-45 lead.

Indian team
Indian team. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

After winning the four-Test series against Australia 2-1 and scripting history, the Indian team will now take on the hosts in a three-game ODI series starting January 12. While the first match will be played in Sydney, the second ODI is to be hosted in Adelaide on January 15 and the third one in Melbourne on January 18. This is only the second time that India are playing a bilateral ODI series against the Kangaroos on their soil, after the 2015-16 series which they lost 1-4.

India, led by Virat Kohli, will be favourites to win the ODIs too, given their own great form and the ordinary one of the Aussies. India and Australia meet each other frequently in the ODI arena and out of the 128 matches they have played till now, the Australians hold a 73-45 lead with 10 matches ending without any conclusion. They have, however, played each other in only nine bilateral ODI series in 44 years of rivalry.


The first one took place in India in 1984-85 and of the nine, eight have been played in India while just one – in 2015-16 – was played Down Under. On most occasions, India have played the hosts in their den in tri- or multi-lateral tournaments, including two World Cups in 1992 and 2015.

Here we take a look at results of all Australia-India bilateral ODI series played in the past:

Australia beat India 3-0 (5) in India, 1984-85:

Led by Kim Hughes, Australia picked up their maiden ODI series victory in the subcontinent against the then world champions India. The series was a five-game affair though two matches in Thiruvananthapuram and Jamshedpur were abandoned due to rain. The visitors won the first match in New Delhi by 48 runs; fourth match in Ahmedabad by 7 wickets and the fifth game in Indore by 6 wickets.

Kepler Wessels, the Australian opener who later went on to lead South Africa, was picked as the man of the series. India were led by Sunil Gavaskar in this series. One funny incident that happened in this series is that the truck carrying the clothes and equipment of the cricketers from both sides for the Jamshedpur game went missing because of which the match was delayed by three hours!

India beat Australia 3-2 (6) in India; 1986-87:

The reigning world champions gave it back to the Aussies when they came to tour India in 1986-87. Although the three-Test series was drawn 0-0 (the famous tied Test happened in this series), India won the six-match ODI series that followed by 3-2 margin with one game remaining without a result. The hosts captained by Kapil Dev started off well by winning the first match in Jaipur by 7 wickets but the visitors levelled the series in the second match in Srinagar by 3 wickets.

The third match in Hyderabad was without a result while India won the fourth in Delhi by 3 wickets and the fifth in Ahmedabad by 52 runs to clinch the series 3-1. Allan Border’s Australia won the sixth and the final match in Rajkot by 7 wickets to pull one back. India’s Raman Lamba was picked as the man of the series for being the highest scorer from both sides. The late cricketer’s only international hundred came in the Rajkot match.

Australia beat India 3-2 (5) in India; 2000-01:

After the historic Test series of 2000-01 in which VVS Laxman’s superhuman form saw India stalling the Aussies’ phenomenal victory march, the two teams locked horns in the ODI series and it was Steve Waugh’s Australia who had the last laugh in the limited-overs format despite trailing 1-2. Sourav Ganguly’s India won the first match in Bengaluru by 60 runs but Australia levelled the series in Pune by winning by 8 wickets.

India then took a lead again in Indore by winning by 118 runs (Sachin Tendulkar scored his 10,000th ODI run in this game) but the visitors then thumped India by 93 runs in Vishakhapatnam and 4 wickets in Margao to take the series (3-2) – a bilateral one between the two powerhouses after a gap of 15 years. Matthew Hayden was adjudged the man of the series for scoring 303 runs.

Australia beat India 4-2 (7) in India; 2007-08:

The Australians won their second straight ODI series in India when Ricky Ponting’s side humbled Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team 4-2 in a seven-game series. The first match in Bengaluru was washed out but then the visitors won two games on the trot in Kochi (84 runs) and Hyderabad (47 runs) before India won the fourth game in Chandigarh by 8 runs to keep the series alive.

But the hosts lost the series by going down in the sixth tie in Nagpur by 18 runs before ending the series with a 2-wicket win in Mumbai in the final match of the series. Andrew Symonds, who scored 365 runs in the series, was picked as the man of the series.

Australia beat India 4-2 (7) in India; 2009-10

The Kangaroos replicated their 2007-08 feat again in 2009-10 by winning yet another seven-match series by identical 4-2 margin with one game getting abandoned. Led by Ponting again, the Aussies started with a 4-run win in Vadodara but Indian skipper Dhoni’s brilliant 124 in Nagpur in the second game saw India squaring the series with a 99-run win.

The hosts did well to win the third game in Delhi by 6 wickets, thanks to Yuvraj Singh’s 78, but the visitors shot back with three consecutive wins in the fourth game in Mohali by 24 runs, fifth game in Hyderabad by 3 runs (it will be remembered for Tendulkar’s 175-run innings while chasing a steep target of 351) and the sixth in Guwahati by 6 wickets to take the series 4-2. The seventh game in Mumbai was abandoned because of a cyclone.

India beat Australia 1-0(3) in India; 2010-11:

Australia came to India for a series again next year and this time India arrested the slide by winning it 1-0 with two games ending without a result. Led by Dhoni again, the team turned the tables this time with a win in Vishakhapatnam with Virat Kohli scoring a century (his against Australia in any format) in a high-scoring chase.

The first and third games in Kochi and Margao were abandoned. Kohli was chosen as the man of the series which India won for the first time against Australia after 24 years. Michael Clarke was in charge of the Australian side in this series. India would topple Australia from the throne of world champions at home in a few months after this win to become the new champions.

India beat Australia 3-2 (7) in India; 2013-14:

In the seventh consecutive ODI series between India and Australia in India, the hosts won their third one and first-ever seven-game series. George Bailey’s side started with a win by 72 runs in Pune but India scripted a magnificent victory in the second game, chasing down 360 losing just 1wicket with 39 balls to spare!

Rohit Sharma and Kohli hit unbeaten 100s in that game with Kohli scoring his ton in just 52 balls. Captain MS Dhoni’s hundred in the next game in Mohali went in vain as Australia won by 4 wickets to regain the lead. The next two games in Ranchi and Cuttack were washed out, putting India in danger of losing yet another home series to Australia.

But Kohli’s 115 not out in Nagpur helped India level the series with a 6-wicket win (chasing 350-plus yet again) while Rohit’s brilliant 209 in the final game in Bengaluru saw India winning by 57 runs and pocketing the series. Rohit was the man of the series.

Australia beat India 4-1 (5) in Australia; 2015-16:

This was Dhoni’s fifth and final bilateral series against Australia as the captain and it was not a happy wrap-up for him. What was worse for India is that they kept on scoring 300-plus totals (in only one game did they score 295) but yet they could not prevent the scoreline look an extremely one-sided one.

Australia won the first match in Perth by 5 wickets, the second in Brisbane by 7 wickets, the third in Melbourne by 3 wickets and the fourth in Canberra by 25 runs. However, India prevented a whitewash in Sydney by successfully chasing 330 runs with Manish Pandey hitting an unbeaten century. This loss marked an end to Australia’s streak of winning the most number of ODIs at home. Rohit Sharma was adjudged the man of the series for amassing 441 runs with the highest score of 171 not out in Perth.

India beat Australia 4-1 (5) in India; 2017-18:

India gave the return gift of the 2015-16 loss to Australia by winning the next series by an identical margin. It was India’s fourth series victory over Australia at home out of eight times but the most dominating one. Led by Kohli, India won the five-match series straightaway by bagging the first three games in Chennai (by 26 runs in D/L method), in Kolkata (by 50 runs) and in Indore (by 5 wickets).

Australia pulled one back in Bengaluru by winning by 21 runs after scoring 330-plus but India made it 4-1 in the final game in Nagpur by 7 wickets. Rohit was the top scorer in this series as well while Kuldeep Yadav got the most number of wickets for India (seven) though it was Hardik Pandya who took the player of the series award.

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