3 times a team bounced back from 2-0 down to win a 5-match ODI series ft. Australia

Australia have been on both sides of a 2-0 comeback in a 5-match ODI series
Australia have been on both sides of a 2-0 comeback in a 5-match ODI series

South Africa pulled off a remarkable comeback against five-time world champions Australia in the recently concluded five-match ODI series at home.

After experiencing a 3-0 thumping in the T20I series, the Proteas also lost the first two games of the 50-over series. With the Aussies seemingly heading towards another series whitewash on their way to India, the resurgent home team dug deep to pull off the impossible.

South Africa won the final three ODIs by massive 100+ run margins, including a 122-run win in the series decider in Johannesburg on September 17. Winning a five-match series from a 0-2 deficit requires tremendous resilience, defiance, and belief, which the Proteas displayed in abundance.

It is why such turnarounds are few and far between in any format, including ODIs. Yet, this wasn't the first occurrence of such a comeback, with the Aussies almost pulling off a similar one in South Africa in 2006.

The roles were reversed in that particular series, with Australia being 0-2 down before staging a sensational comeback to level the series at 2-2. However, in arguably the greatest ODI ever played, Ricky Ponting's men lost the series decider after scoring 434 in their 50 overs, only for the hosts to pull off the record run-chase.

All said, here is a look back on three other instances when a team bounced back from a 0-2 deficit to win a five-match ODI series.


#1 Australia in India, 2019

Australia displayed their incredible fighting qualities to pull off the impossible in India.
Australia displayed their incredible fighting qualities to pull off the impossible in India.

The 2019 home ODI series against Australia is one all Indian fans would like to forget because of its result and the repercussions that followed.

Having been unbeatable at home in 50-overs cricket, with their previous setback almost four years back in 2015, the Men in Blue suffered one of the most surprising series defeats.

It was also India's final series before the 2019 World Cup, similar to the upcoming three-match rubber against the Aussies preceding the showpiece event.

Despite being in trouble at different stages of the first two games at Hyderabad and Nagpur, India pulled off victories by batting first and chasing once to take a 2-0 lead.

However, led by inspired bowling efforts from Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa, Australia stifled the Indian batting, barring Virat Kohli, to spark a sensational comeback. It was also a series to remember for opener Usman Khawaja, who scored 383 runs in the five games with two centuries and as many fifties.

Following a 32-run win in the third ODI, the Aussies scripted a remarkable run-chase of 359, with an unlikely 43-ball 84 by Ashton Turner.

In the decider, with the momentum completely tilted in their favor, the Men in Yellow finished the task with a 35-run victory.

India losing the series also led to the side making radical changes at the doorstep of the World Cup, dropping Ambati Rayudu, who endured a horrendous series. It led to the side struggling for clarity in the crucial No.4 position, which eventually proved costly in their semi-final collapse against New Zealand.


#2 South Africa vs. England, 2016

AB de Villiers played a captain's knock in the series decider.
AB de Villiers played a captain's knock in the series decider.

One of England's rare setbacks in ODIs since their transformed brand of cricket following the debacle in the 2015 World Cup came in South Africa. Coming off an impressive 2-1 Test series win against a strong Proteas outfit, the English headed into the ODI series with their confidence sky-high.

It led to them stunning the hosts in the opening two games to take a 2-0 series lead. However, the South African batting juggernaut stepped up ever since, with Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock scoring breathtaking centuries in a successful 319 run-chase in the third ODI.

Following the heroics of all-rounder Chris Morris in the penultimate game, which South Africa miraculously won by a wicket, the series was set for deciding fifth game. With the home crowd at Cape Town fully behind them, the Proteas put on an impressive all-round display to finish the comeback off by five wickets.

Skipper AB de Villiers scored a brilliant 101* off 97 deliveries to propel the side in a precarious 237 chase from 22/3.


#3 South Africa in Pakistan, 2003

South Africa overcame hostile crowds in Pakistan to produce a staggering ODI series win.
South Africa overcame hostile crowds in Pakistan to produce a staggering ODI series win.

Renowned for their never-say-die attitude over the years, South Africa pulled off the first of their miraculous comebacks from 0-2 down in the 2003 ODI series in Pakistan.

Following a disastrous World Cup campaign at home, where the side failed to make the Super Six stage, the Proteas made a shocking move to appoint the then 22-year-old Graeme Smith as captain.

While Smith immediately silenced the skeptics with his twin double-centuries in the Test series in England that followed the World Cup, the ODI series win in Pakistan was his arrival as a leader.

Pakistan won the first two games by defending 277 and 267 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

However, the star-studded South African bowling, led by Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini, restricted the hosts to 243, 157, and 192 in the final three games.

youtube-cover

With the bat, the elegant Boeta Dippenaar starred throughout the series, scoring 256 runs at an average of 64 to be named the Player of the Series. The Proteas won all three games, especially the final two, comfortably to complete the 3-2 series win.

Looking for fast live cricket scores? Download CricRocket and get fast score updates, top-notch commentary in-depth match stats & much more! 🚀☄️

Quick Links

Edited by Ankush Das
App download animated image Get the free App now