The 5 Best ODI wins for India versus Australia in Australia
Team India is on a winning spree. They retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy quite comfortably by beating Australia by a victory margin of 2-1. It should have been 3-1 but for the rain which saved Australia at Sydney. A total of 170 overs were lost in Sydney due to incessant rain on the fourth and fifth day of the Test match. In the end, India had to settle for a 2-1 margin.
The focus is now shifted to the three-match ODI series between Australia and India starting on Saturday in Sydney. Let us only hope the rain stays away this time around.
The Indian team would be bolstered by the arrival of one-day specialists in MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayadu and Yuzvedra Chahal. Hardik Pandya would also make a welcome return to the team after an injury lay-off.
The selectors have made a wise decision in resting Jasprit Bumrah for the one-day series in Australia and New Zealand. India's ODI outfit, even without Bumrah, is a formidable one.
India starts as favorites but the shorter version of the format might help Australia mask their current weaknesses and come up trumps.
In any case, beating Australia in Australia in an ODI series is by no means an easy task. India has so far played 48 ODIs against Australia in Australia and has won only 11.
India started off exceptionally well by winning their first ever ODI against Australia in Australia at Melbourne way back in 1980 by a comfortable margin of 66 runs. In 1980, India were infants in one day cricket whereas Australian players had the experience of playing in the Kerry Packer series.
Besides, Australia had players of the caliber of Greg Chappell, Kim Hughes, Allan Border, Doug Walters, Rodney Marsh, Dennis Lillee, and Len Pascoe. India, under the captaincy of Sunil Gavaskar, managed to cause a big upset in their first ever ODI against Australia in Australia.
After their first win and their famous win in the Benson and Hedges World Series Cup in 1985, victories for India in Australia were far few and far between in the 80s and 90s. It was only from the new millennium that India started competing on equal terms with Australia in ODIs in Australia.
On the eve of the upcoming series, let us go back in time and cherish five of India's best ODI wins against Australia in Australia.
#5 Benson and Hedges World Series at Perth, 1991
There were the days in Australia when one-day matches were sandwiched between Test matches. In 1991, India first played a Test match at Brisbane and promptly lost the match before the tour schedule moved into one-day tri-series with West Indies as the third team.
The first match of the tri-series at Perth between India and West Indies ended in a tie. India took on Australia in the second match of the series at the same venue. India won the toss and elected to bat first. For India, Ravi Shastri and Kris Srikkanth opened the innings while Craig McDermott and Bruce Reid opened the bowling for Australia.
Though Shastri struggled to the accurate bowling of the Australian opening bowlers, Srikkanth was his usual aggressive self. It was Srikkanth who first started the culture of hitting the ball over the top in the first few overs. His style of play was later followed by players like Mark Greatbatch and Sanath Jayasuriya.
At Perth, while technically sound players like Ravi Shastri and Sanjay Manjrekar struggled, Srikkanth raced away to his 60 at run-a-ball before he became Steve Waugh’s second wicket.
Helped by the contribution from the middle-order in the form of Sachin Tendulkar(36), Pravin Amre(33) and Kapil Dev(25), India reached 208 at the end of the 50 overs.
The Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin was happy with the total posted by his batsmen since just two days ago against the West Indies, India managed to tie that match after scoring just 126.
The Indian bowlers were now confident of defending 208. Though Australia was top heavy with Geoff Marsh, David Boon, Dean Jones, and Allan Border, India had a good seam bowling to suit the conditions at Perth with Kapil Dev, Manoj Prabhakar, Javagal Srinath and Subroto Banerjee in their ranks.
The Indian opening bowlers struck immediately with Manoj Prabhakar inducing David Boon to edge it to Kapil Dev in the slips. Kapil Dev himself struck in the very next over when Dean Jones unwisely charged down the wicket to Kapil and was castled. The introduction of Srinath resulted in the wickets of Captain Allan Border and Tom Moody.
Australia was hopelessly placed at 68 for 5 and the match was good as over. The match was entirely dominated by the seamers of both the teams up to that point. That was when left-arm orthodox spinner Ravi Shastri came into the attack.
In no time Shastri got five wickets in his seven overs and the Australia late-order and tail simply caved into the guiles of Ravi Shastri.
In the end, Australia was bundled out for 101. Shastri finished with figures of 5 for 15. India won by a massive margin of 107 runs. Srikkanth got the man of the match for his 60 on a bowling wicket. He was the only batsman to cross a score of fifty in that match.
At that time, Perth was India’s biggest margin of a win against Australia in terms of the number of runs. Australia was humbled at home.