Team India are all set to begin their long tour of Australia with a three-match ODI series. The first game will be held at Sydney on November 27. The second match of the series will also be held at the same venue on November 29, followed by the final ODI at Manuka Oval, Canberra on December 2.
The Indians will miss the services of regular vice-captain Rohit Sharma, who featured in the IPL 2020 final, but has been rested for the limited-overs contests in Australia. In Rohit’s absence, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and skipper Virat Kohli will have to take additional responsibility in the batting department.
Australia enjoy a significant edge over Team India in ODIs. Out of 140 games, they have been beaten India in 78, while the latter have won only 52. In Australia, India’s record is even worse -- 36 losses and 13 wins from 51 matches.
When Team India batsmen shone Down Under
There have been some amazing batting efforts from Indians in Australia though. As a build up to the upcoming series between the two, we pick five of the best.
1. Sachin Tendulkar (117 not out) -- 1st Final, CB Series 2008
Sachin Tendulkar played arguably the finest ODI knock by a Team India player in Australia. The occasion was massive -- the first final of 2008 CB Series at Sydney in March 2008. India were chasing 240 to win the big match, and needed to get off to a good start. Tendulkar rose to the occasion.
While India lost Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh cheaply, Tendulkar held one end up for the team. Playing an extremely mature knock, the Indian legend stayed on till the end, remaining unbeaten on 117 from 120 balls. Tendulkar occupied the crease for 235 minutes during which he hit 10 fours.
Tendulkar found good support from fellow Mumbai batsman Rohit Sharma, who made an impressive 66 from 87 balls, as India won the first final by six wickets. Earlier, Praveen Kumar and Harbhajan Singh picked up two scalps each to restrict Australia to 239 for 8.
2. Yuvraj Singh (139) -- 7th Match, VB Series 2004
Yuvraj Singh announced himself on the big stage with a rollicking 84 against the Aussies during the 2000 Champions Trophy in Nairobi. Four years later, he came up with another brilliant knock against Australia, this time in the latter’s own den.In the 7th match of the VB series at Sydney, India found themselves in trouble having lost Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, with the score reading 80 for 3. VVS Laxman was holding one end up for India, but it was Yuvraj’s entry that shifted the momentum of the match in India’s favour.
Having made his mind up to go after the bowling, the southpaw flayed the Australian attack featuring Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie. Yuvraj slammed 16 fours and two sixes in his 122-ball 139, and was involved in a 213-run stand for the fourth wicket with Laxman, who was unbeaten on 106 off 130 balls.
The Indians finished their innings on 296 for 4. Due to rain interruptions, Australia’s target was revised to 225 from 34 overs. They got home with a ball to spare courtesy Adam Gilchrist’s blistering 95 from 72 balls. Yuvraj, though was named man of the match for his splendid innings.
3. Rohit Sharma (171 not out) -- 1st ODI, Perth 2016
If VVS Laxman was Australia’s nemesis in Tests, the same tag for the ODI format should go to Rohit Sharma, who enjoys an incredible record against the Aussies in the format. During the first ODI of the 2016 tour at Perth, Rohit continued his love affair with the Australian bowling attack.
Team India won the toss and elected to bat, and Rohit was completely at ease as he batted through the 50 overs. Occupying the crease for 205 minutes, the Mumbai Indians skipper breezed his way to an unbeaten 171 from 163 balls. In cruise control, the elegant opener caressed 13 fours and smashed as many as seven sixes. Rohit featured in a 207-run third wicket stand with Virat Kohli, who contributed a brisk 91 from 97 balls.
The visitors posted 309 for 3, but the Aussie batting line-up was too good for India as centuries from Steve Smith (149 from 135) and George Bailey (112 from 120) led Australia’s response. Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja both conceded over 60 in nine overs as Aussies eased home in the last over.
4. Shikhar Dhawan (126) -- 4th ODI, Canberra 2016
Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan is another player who likes taking on the Aussies. In the 4th ODI of India’s 2016 tour at Canberra, Dhawan gave Australia a scare despite the fact that, batting first, the hosts had put up a mammoth 348 for 8 on the board.
Responding to Australia’s hefty score, Dhawan kept India in the hunt with a dominant 126 from 113 balls. His impressive knock featured 14 fours and two sixes. Dhawan featured in an opening stand of 65 with Rohit, who contributed 41 and also added 212 with Kohli, who himself hit a brilliant 106 from 92 balls.
At 277 for 1 in the 38th over, India looked in complete command of the chase. However, Dhawan’s dismissal at this point gave the Aussies an opening, and the hosts made a sensational comeback to roll India over for 323. Dhawan, MS Dhoni and Kohli fell within a run of each other as India crumbled under pressure.
Kane Richardson was the game-change with 5 for 68. Earlier, it was Aaron Finch’s run-a-ball 107 that lifted Australia to 348, which eventually proved to be a winning score.
5. Virat Kohli (117) -- 3rd ODI Melbourne 2016
Kohli played an excellent knock for Team India in the 3rd ODI of the 2016 series at Melbourne. Sent in to bat after losing the toss, India lost Rohit early. However, Kohli featured in a fluent partnership of 119 with Dhawan (68) and 109 with Ajinkya Rahane (50).
The number three batsman held the innings together with a run-a-ball 117, hitting seven fours and two sixes during his fluent knock. Team India looked set to cross 300 with Kohli at the crease. However, a middle-order collapse held India to 295 as John Hastings picked up four wickets.
Glenn Maxwell then blasted 96 from 83 in the chase with the aid of eight fours and three sixes. His blazing knock, combined with Shaun Marsh’s steady 62 at the start saw Australia cruise to victory by three wickets, with seven balls to spare.