Australia and India share one of the fiercest rivalries in world cricket. Whenever these two teams lock horns, fans expect a whole lot of on-field drama.
Since the last decade, the rivalry between the two powerhouses of the cricketing world, India and Australia, has out-shone any other battle, both on and off the cricket field. Every series between these two nations usually gathers a lot of interest, no matter what the format of the game is.
Even though the head-to-head record is heavily tilted towards the Kangaroos, there have been some memorable ODI matches between the two nations in the past.
With India and Australia all set to play a 3-match ODI series in a few days, let’s look at the top 5 ODI encounters between these two cricketing giants.
1. Titan Cup 1996 | 3rd ODI | Bengaluru
Heavyweights Australia won the toss and decided to bat but were unable to capitalise on their opportunity thanks to a power-packed performance by the Indian bowling attack. The Indian bowlers kept the Aussie batsmen quiet, and restricted them to a below-par total of 215/7. The then-Australian skipper Mark Taylor emerged the top-scorer with 105 runs in 144 deliveries.
The Indians didn’t have a great start after as they were reduced to 47/4. It was the partnership between Sachin Tendulkar and Ajay Jadeja that revived their hopes. The tables turned once again as the Indian lower-order tumbled.
The team was reeling at 164/8 at one stage, but Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble brought them back on course with an invaluable partnership. The legendary bowling duo took India home in a nail-biting victory with seven balls to spare.
2. Coca-Cola Cup 1998 | 6th ODI | Sharjah
In an all-important group encounter, India were battling the Aussies, and the result of the game was to decide the finalists. Australia had already qualified for the finals, and a win would have sealed the berth for India too.
With magnificent knocks from Michael Bevan and Mark Waugh, Australia managed to put up 284 runs on the scoreboard. India knew that a total of 254 runs was enough to get them through based on a superior net run rate.
As it was often the case those days, India heavily depended on Sachin to score big, and he didn’t disappoint. He was slowly taking India to that qualification mark before a desert storm interrupted the game with India at 143-4 in 31 overs. The game restarted with India requiring 276 runs to win in 46 overs, and 237 runs to advance to the finals.
What followed was one of the most magical innings of all time. India added 100 runs to their total in the next 11 overs, with the Little Master showing his class to take India to the 237-run mark. Sachin eventually got out for 143 off 131 balls. India fell short by 25 runs in the end, but managed to seal a spot in the finals.
3. CB Series 2008 | 2nd Final | Brisbane
A gripping tri-series between Australia, India and Sri Lanka led to an India-Australia final - a best-of-three event to decide the winner of the CB Series. India were leading 1-0 into the finals, and a win here would see them get their hands on the trophy.
India won the toss and elected to bat first. The openers put up an impressive partnership of 94 runs for the first wicket. They were 205-4 in the 40th over and were definitely looking at a score over 280.
However, some quick wickets saw India restricted to 258-7. In response, Australia's start was rather dull. They were down to 32-3 thanks to Praveen Kumar's heroics in the powerplay.
With the trio of Gilchrist, Ponting and Clarke gone, Australia were in a bit of trouble. But Hayden and Symonds got the innings back on track before Michael Hussey, and James Hopes put on a 76-run stand. After Hussey got out, the next few wickets came quickly for India.
Defending 13 in the last over, Irfan Pathan held his nerve as he priced out the last two wickets to hand India a famous tri-series victory.
4. World Cup 2011 | Quarter-Final | Ahmedabad
Favourites and hosts, India, were up against the defending champions Australia in a quarter-final face-off at Ahmedabad. Australia won the toss and elected to bat first. They managed to put up a respectable 260 with captain Ponting scoring a splendid ton.
In response, India were struggling at 187-5 at a point in time. Each of the top-order batsmen had gotten off to good starts, but failed to score big. Suresh Raina came in to bat with 74 runs still required.
Yuvraj and Raina soaked in the pressure and won with 15 balls still to spare. India roared into the semi-finals to face arch-rivals Pakistan, and eventually went on to lift the World Cup after defeating Sri Lanka in the finals.
5. Australia tour of India 2013 | 6th ODI | Nagpur
The India-Australia ODI series of 2013 turned out to be a high-scoring one as both teams had scored more than 300 in every game coming into the 6th ODI. Trailing the series 2-1, with the 4th and 5th matches being wash-outs, India were looking to level the series and opted to field first on a flat pitch in Nagpur.
Australia lost their openers early, but captain George Bailey and Shane Watson not only helped them recover but also put the pressure on the Indian bowlers as they put on a splendid 168-run stand for the third wicket. Watson got out soon after reaching the three-figure mark, but Bailey went on to pile further misery on the Indian attack and scored 156 off 114 balls as Australia finished with a massive 350 on the board.
India had already chased 360 with ease in Jaipur earlier in the series, and an encore was on the cards as the hosts were off to a flier once again with a 178-run opening partnership. After the mammoth stand, both Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan fell prey to the Australian attack in quick intervals. Soon after, Raina and Yuvraj got out off successive balls, and panic set in in the Indian dressing room.
Virat Kohli, who scored the fastest ODI century by an Indian (off just 52 balls) in the Jaipur chase, was on the task again. He took calculated risks, ran hard between the wickets and scored important boundaries. He, along with skipper MS Dhoni helped India complete yet another memorable run chase as the Men in Blue became the first team to chase 350+ targets twice.
India got to the target with three balls to spare, with Kohli scoring a magnificent 115 off just 66 balls to help his team level the series against rivals Australia.