An All time Indian XI vs Australian XI
Disclaimer : Below is a work of fiction, completely a creation of the writer’s imagination, which you’re free to disagree with.
India vs Australia (Best ODI XI series)
India and Australia are two cricketing nations with a rich history and intense rivalry, it has been upgraded to another level with Australian domination in World Cricket during 2000-2010 decade and India trying to catch up and nullify the Kangaroo effect.
The ODI team of both the countries is a force to reckon with but what I am trying to create here is something special, a match between the two best ODI team of all times of both the nations .The venue for this high profile voltage series would be neutral, keeping in mind home advantage any country could have, the teams would have to play a bilateral series of four matches at Lords(England), Galle (Sri Lanka), Antigua (West Indies), Johannesburg (South Africa) respectively.
3)Sourav Ganguly(C )
7)Mahender Singh Dhoni(WK )
10) Harbhajan Singh
11) Zaheer Khan
Reserves – Anil Kumble, Mohinder Amarnath, VVS Laxman, Ajit Agarkar.
2)Adam Gilchrist (WK)
3) Ricky Ponting
5)Steve Waugh( C )
10) Dennis Lillee
Reserves : Mitchell Johnson, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Matthew Hayden.
Indian Team Strategy
Perhaps the biggest strength any Indian Team has, is its rock strong batting, and it would be interesting to imagine the kind of impact an all-star Australian eleven would have on these group of batters. Bowling looks lethal enough to pose a threat to Australian Team. They would look to win the toss and bat first and post a big total on board. Anything less than 280-290 would be below par for this level of players.
Start with the swing of Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan. Srinath as first change and Harbhajan after the powerplay. While Chasing Indians would heavily rely on a good start and a Kohli masterclass, later on, and they do have a cool finisher in Dhoni to see them off.
The trump card player this team has is Harbhajan Singh and Virat Kohli, these two are expected to shine against the Aussies and if nothing goes to plan they always have an option of going to VVS Laxman.
Australian Team Strategy
This team has all the components of beating even a World ODI eleven. In fact, the only Achilles heal, a Kryptonite, this team looks to have will be rank turning pitches against spin where India could outfox them. It would be not easy for any team to beat an all time great Australian ODI unit. If they bat first ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK would be the motto, and Gilchrist and Waugh would look to blaze through Indian bowling putting the total beyond reach.
In case they bowl first getting Tendulkar out early will be the top most priority to put Indians under a bit of pressure (Wickets of Sehwag and Kohli will also be crucial. Aussies know a way to dominate matches, don’t they?
You may have yours but I would say Australia to win 3-1 in a tightly fought four-match series. They would have the upper hand at Lords, Johannesburg and Antigua while India to dominate them at Galle.
Expected Man of the Series- Ricky Ponting, As it has always been Ponting without pressure of captaincy would be tough to handle and he may pile on mountains of runs
Expected Highest Run Maker-Sachin Tendulkar , To match this class Australian bowling team you need class and Tendulkar will probably be India’s key answer, he would, however, get out early in the decider in Johannesburg to a McGrath bouncer and Kohli would counter attack and eventually India lose by 3 runs.
MS Dhoni will be blamed for series loss were he couldn't finish the game when India required 20 of last 2 then 11 of last six. Despite being the highest run-getter Tendulkar would not get Man Of Series as India couldn't win . Kohli would be the third highest run-getter after Tendulkar and Ponting .
Expected Highest Wicket taker- Glenn Mcgrath and Harbhajan Singh combined, McGrath would be consistent however Harbhajan would pick six in one match at Galle and match his overall record. Dennis Lillee would be awarded as the most valuable player after his hattrick at Antigua which comprised of Indian lower order.