The ongoing India vs Australia series has been a true thriller. India won the first ODI in Hyderabad by six wickets and they held their nerve in the Nagpur ODI when they won by eight runs to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Australia withstood the brilliance of Virat Kohli with the Indian skipper slamming a record-breaking 41st century as they won the Ranchi ODI by 32 runs. In the Mohali ODI, Australia were boosted by a century from Peter Handscomb and a brilliant 84 off 43 balls by Ashton Turner as they chased down 359, which is the highest by a visiting team in ODIs in India. The performance in Mohali has given the Australian team immense belief, who have not won a bilateral series since 2017 and it gives them a chance to win an ODI series for the first time since 2009 in India.
Heading into the Delhi ODI, India are still firm favourites due to the home advantage and having not lost a series since 2015 in their own backyard. India have played four ODIs against Australia in Delhi, winning three and losing one game. Australia's only win at the venue came in 1998, when they won the tri-series final against India by four wickets in a tournament which also involved Zimbabwe.
However, with Australia bouncing back from 0-2 down to tie the series 2-2 with one game left to play, Aaron Finch's side are on the cusp of creating a are slice of history. A win in Delhi for Australia will make Finch's side the first Australian side in ODI history to win a series after being 0-2 down in the five-match series. Australia has never achieved this feat in their 48-year ODI history. The closest Australia ever got from winning after a 0-2 deficit was against South Africa in 2006.
After losing the Centurion and Cape Town ODIs by six wickets and 196 runs respectively, Australia bounced back and won the Port Elizabeth and Durban matches by 24 runs and one wicket respectively. In the final game in Johannesburg, Australia notched up 434/4 thanks to Ricky Ponting's brilliant 164. At that time, Australia notched up the highest ODI score in history but South Africa spectacularly chased the total down to win by one wicket and clinch the series 3-2.
In fact, there are very few instances when teams have bounced back from 0-2 down in the five-match series to win 3-2. In ODI history, there has been 64 instances of a series scoreline reading 3-2. Only twice in history have teams bounced back from 0-2 down to win the series 3-2. The first instance was between Pakistan and South Africa in the 2003 series played in Pakistan.
The hosts won the first two games in Lahore by eight runs and 42 runs respectively but South Africa staged a remarkable comeback. The Proteas won the third match at Faisalabad by 13 runs while they leveled the series with a six-wicket win in Rawalpindi. The final match was won by seven wickets at the same venue and South Africa had achieved a first.
The next instance was between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in the series in 2005. Zimbabwe won the first two games by 22 and 31 runs but Bangladesh staged a great comeback. They won the next two games by 40 runs and 58 runs and heading into the final game, Bangladesh chased down 199 to win their first-ever bilateral ODI series. The next instance was the series between South Africa and England in 2016. England won the first two ODIs by a comfortable margin but South Africa roared back in the contest with three straight wins, including one match by one wicket as they registered a 3-2 win in the series.
Australia are the only team in Test history to have bounced back from a 0-2 deficit in Tests to win the series. In the 1936/37 Ashes against England, Australia lost the first two Tests but under the captaincy of Sir Don Bradman, Australia spectacularly reversed their fortunes and went on to win the series 3-2.