Team India will kick-off their long tour of Australia with a three-match ODI series that will begin in Sydney with the first game on November 27. While the second match of the series will be played at the same venue, the final One-Dayer will be held at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on December 2.
With Team India missing the injured Rohit Sharma in the One-Dayers, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, skipper Virat Kohli and will be expected to score the bulk of runs in the batting department.
In the bowling, the pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will hold the key. With Kuldeep Yadav struggling for rhythm, a lot will be expected of leggie Yuzvendra Chahal in the spin bowling department.
Although Team India have traditionally struggled in Australia, there have been some noteworthy bowling performances by their players in the country over the years. Here’s a look at five of them.
When Team India bowlers shone in ODIs Down Under
#1. Praveen Kumar (4/46)
Retired Team India medium pacer Praveen Kumar may have had an unfulfilled international career, but he was the central figure in one of India’s finest moments Down Under.
Kumar was the man of the match with 4 for 46 as Team India won the second final of the 2008 CB Series and, with it, the series. After’s Tendulkar’s 91 had ensured India posted a competitive 258 on the board, Kumar picked up key Australian wickets to hurt the hosts in the chase.
Kumar began by having the dangerous Adam Gilchrist caught behind in the first over and then sent back Ricky Ponting off a sharp short ball. He also cleaned up Michael Clarke to leave the Aussies reeling at 32 for 3. Kumar returned to dismiss Brett Lee. And, despite James Hopes fighting 63, India clinched the final by nine runs.
#2. Yuzvendra Chahal (6/42)
Current Team India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal bamboozled Australia with his variations during the third ODI of the 2019 tour at Melbourne. Chahal finished with figures of 6 for 42, the joint best by an Indian bowler Down Under as India clinched the match by seven wickets.
The leggie dismissed three well-set Aussie batsmen to give Team India the upper hand. Usman Khwaja was caught and bowled for 34, Shaun Marsh was stumped for 39 while Peter Handscomb was trapped plumb in front for 58.
Chahal then ran through the lower order to restrict the Aussies to 230 in 48.4 overs. Team India chased down the total with ease courtesy MS Dhoni’s unbeaten 87 from 114 balls and Kedar Jadhav’s swift 61 not out from 57 balls, thus claiming the series 2-1.
#3. Ravi Shastri (5/15)
Former Team India all-rounder and current India coach Ravi Shastri put up an unforgettable bowling display in the second match of the 1991/92 Benson & Hedges World Series clash at Perth.
Team India were defending a target of just 209, but Shastri’s heroics saw the Aussies being rolled over for 101. After Javagal Srinath, Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar combined to have the Aussies reeling at 68 for 5, Shastri ran through the lower order with fantastic figures of 5 for 15 in 6.5 overs.
Shastri had Steve Waugh caught and bowled for 5 and Ian Healy stumped for 3. He also added the scalps of Simon O’Donnell, Peter Taylor and Craig McDermott to sink the Aussies.
Despite Shastri’s brilliance, Kris Srikkanth was named man of the match as he was the only batsman from either side to cross fifty.
#4. Kapil Dev (4/30)
Team India’s greatest all-rounder Kapil Dev came up with a memorable bowling performance in the 14th match of the Benson & Hedges World Series Cup in 1986. His 4 for 30 restricted Australia to 235 for 7 after openers David Boon (76) and Geoff Marsh (74) added 146 for the first wicket.
After Shastri sent back both the set openers, Kapil dealt the Aussies another big blow by dismissing opposition skipper Allan Border. He then cleaned up both Dean Jones and Steve Waugh to push Australia on the back foot, and then trapped McDermott lbw first ball.
Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar hit seventies in the chase while skipper Kapil chipped in with a quick 23 from 18 as Team India won the game comprehensively by six wickets.
#5. Ajit Agarkar (6 for 42)
Former Team India medium pacer Ajit Agarkar holds the record for the joint best bowling figures by an Indian in Australia along with Chahal. But the performance features at number five since it came in a losing case.
Agarkar claimed 6 for 42 in the first match of the 2004 VB series at Melbourne. Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden added 59 for the opening wicket before Agarkar dismissed the former. The pace bowler then sent back Hayden and Damien Martyn off successive balls to have Australia in a spot of bother at 70 for 3.
He returned towards the end of the innings to dismiss Andrew Symonds (88), Ian Harvey (28) and Brad Williams (0). Australia still managed to post 288. However, it could have been a lot more but for Agarkar’s impressive effort.
India were 134 for 1 in the chase at one point with Sachin Tendulkar (63) and Sourav Ganguly (82) leading the way. However, India completely lost the way after the two perished and stumbled to 270 all out. Harvey claimed three wickets while Williams and Symonds chipped in with two each.