Virat Kohli has hit two ODI centuries in Australia and he will be aiming to help India create history in the bilateral series. (Image credit: Twitter)
Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team eliminated 71 years of pain to finally win a Test series in Australia. The 2-1 series win in the four-Test series ensured all the pain of not having won a Test series in South Africa and England at the start of the year was eliminated. The focus now shifts to the ODI series and India has a golden chance to create history yet again. India play three ODIs against Australia, with the first one beginning on January 12 in Sydney, followed by ODIs in Adelaide and Melbourne on January 15 and 18 respectively. Like the Tests, India have a poor record in ODIs against Australia, winning just 11 out of 48 ODIs since touring the country for limited overs cricket in 1980/81.
However, if one has to look at some of India’s greatest success stories, it has come in ODI tournaments in Australia. Following Kapil Dev’s victorious 1983 World Cup campaign, India became the ultimate champions of the world by winning the Benson and Hedges World Series Cup by beating Pakistan in the final. 23 years later, the Indian cricket team under MS Dhoni ended a controversial tour by beating Australia in the final of the Commonwealth Bank tri-series to win a tri-series title Down Under for the first time. If India beat Australia in the bilateral series, then Kohli’s side will become only the second team after South Africa to win in all formats. Here is a look at India’s performance in ODI series in Australia.
India in Australia five-match ODI series 2016 (Result: Australia won 4-1)
Rohit Sharma blasted a record 171, the highest individual score by an Indian in Australia in the first ODI in Perth as India reached 309/3. However, centuries by Steve Smith (149) and George Bailey (112) helped Australia chase down the target with ease. Rohit again blasted 124 but fifties from Aaron Finch (71), Shaun Marsh (71) and George Bailey (76) helped Australia chase down 309 again. In Melbourne, Glenn Maxwell’s 96 trumped Virat Kohli’s century as Australia clinched the series. In Canberra, Finch blasted 107 and David Warner 93 as Australia reached 348/8. Shikhar Dhawan (126) and Kohli (106) had put India on track for a glorious victory but from 277/1, India lost nine wickets for 46 runs to lose by 25 runs. In the final ODI in Sydney, Warner (122) and Mitchell Marsh (102) propelled Australia to 330/8 and it required a brilliant 104 from Manish Pandey and 99 from Rohit to help India avoid the whitewash and win by six wickets with two balls to spare.
Carlton Mid-ODI series 2015 Australia, England, India (Result: India knocked out in group stage)
India had endured a tough tour in 2014/15, losing the Test series 0-2. The same situation presented itself in the ODIs. In their first game against Australia in Melbourne, Rohit continued his love affair Down Under with a blazing 138 but Mitchell Starc’s 6/43 and Finch’s 96 helped Australia win by four wickets. India suffered disaster in Brisbane as they were bowled out for 154, with Steven Finn taking 5/33 and James Anderson 4/18. England achieved victory by nine wickets thanks to Ian Bell’s 88* and James Taylor’s 56*. After a wash-out in Sydney against Australia, India faced a must-win game against England in Perth. Ajinkya Rahane hit 73 but India managed only 200 and Taylor hit 82 to guide England to a three-wicket win and knock India out of contention for the finals.
CB tri-series Australia, India, Sri Lanka 2012 (Result: India knocked out in group stage)
After being whitewashed 4-0 in the Tests, India started their campaign on a disastrous note by suffering a heavy 65-run loss via D/L method in Melbourne against Australia. However, they bounced back with a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Perth and finally got the better of Australia with a four-wicket in in Adelaide. After the Sri Lanka match in Adelaide was tied, India suffered two big losses against Australia (110 runs) and Sri Lanka (51 runs) in Brisbane. After suffering an 87-run loss to Australia in Sydney, India encountered Sri Lanka in their last league game where they had to chase 321 in 40 overs to stay in contention for a final. Virat Kohli showed his first signs of greatness as he tore the Sri Lanka bowling apart to smash 133 off 86 balls to help India chase down 321 in just 36.4 overs. However, Sri Lanka won their last league game against Australia by nine runs to knock India out.
CB tri-series Australia, India, Sri Lanka 2008 (Result: India win tournament)
After the first two matches against Australia and Sri Lanka were washed out in Brisbane, India registered a brilliant win against Australia by five wickets in Melbourne. However, they suffered a blip by losing to Sri Lanka in Canberra by eight wickets (D/L method) and to Australia in Adelaide by 50 runs. India bounced back with a two-wicket win in Adelaide against Sri Lanka thanks to MS Dhoni’s 50*. Despite losing to Australia in a high-scoring encounter by 18 runs, India reached the final thanks to a commanding win in Hobart. In the first final in Sydney, Sachin Tendulkar (117*) scored his first ODI century in Australia by helping India to a six-wicket win. In the second final in Brisbane, Tendulkar hit 91 and Praveen Kumar took 4/46 as Dhoni’s side won the final by nine runs to clinch a tri-series title for the first time.
VB tri-series Australia, India, Zimbabwe 2004 (Result: India lose in final)
Ajit Agarkar’s 6/42 could not help India avoid defeat by 18 runs in Melbourne but Sourav Ganguly’s side hammered Zimbabwe to keep their campaign on track. India registered an ODI win against Australia for the first time in 12 years as VVS Laxman’s brilliant 103* helped India win by 19 runs. Rahul Dravid’s 84 gave India a big win against Zimbabwe in Brisbane. In Sydney, Laxman hit a century while Yuvraj Singh displayed his class with 139 but Australia won by two wickets with one ball to spare. In Adelaide, Laxman hit his third century as India won by three runs. However, things went pear-shaped for India as they lost to Australia in Perth by five wickets but they sealed their spot in the final with a four-wicket win at the same venue. India were hammered in the first final by seven wickets in Melbourne and Australia sealed a 208-run win in the second final in Sydney thanks to Matthew Hayden’s 126.