We are just a week away from seeing Virat Kohli and co. stage a return to international cricket as India take on hosts Australia in a three-match ODI series, starting on November 27 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The ODI series will be followed by three T20Is, before the two teams lock horns in the four-Test series starting with a pink ball game at the Adelaide Oval from December 17 to 21.
While Virat Kohli will return to India after the first Test to attend the birth of his child, India – under the leadership of Ajinkya Rahane – will aim to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
With the rivalry growing between the two nations, plenty of individual brilliance has marked series after series, year after year.
While Cheteshwar Pujara bagged the Man of the Series in the 2018/19 Test series with an aggregate of 521 runs in 7 innings, Steve Smith responded by scoring a mammoth 229 runs at an average of 114.50 in the three ODIs in India earlier this year.
Here are the top three Indian batsmen who have enjoyed scoring runs against the Aussies over the years across formats.
3. VVS Laxman (3,173 runs in 73 innings)
A 90's kid would forever remember VVS Laxman as the rescue man against Australia. Back in the day, Laxman would not only cherish playing against the Aussies, but would also fare better than anyone else against the then world champions.
Everyone remembers VVS Laxman’s mammoth 281* at the Eden Gardens, that helped India come back from the dead and go on to eventually win the Test match.
But one shouldn’t forget that the right-hander’s maiden Test hundred also came against the same opposition – 167 at the SCG in 2000.
That was the beginning of a period that saw VVS Laxman boss the Aussies day in and day out, so much so that four of his six ODI hundreds and 10 of his 17 Test hundreds came against Australia.
In fact, his only other double hundred came in 2008 at the Feroz Shah Kotla, also against Australia. All in all, VVS Laxman scored 3,173 runs at an average of 48.81 in 73 innings – including 10 hundreds, 14 fifties and just three ducks.
2. Virat Kohli (4,098 runs in 87 innings)
One can argue that Virat Kohli’s Test career took off a little late, but once it did, there has been no stopping the Indian captain. And it all began with that valiant 116 at the Adelaide Oval in January 2012.
Since that infamous 2012/13 tour which India lost 4-0, Virat Kohli has scored six Test hundreds against the Aussies, with five of them coming away from home.
His most memorable outing, however, came in 2014/15 when he hit four hundreds and racked up 692 runs in four Tests – including a hundred in each innings in Adelaide.
Virat Kohli has been a force to reckon with against Australia in colored clothing as well. From smashing the fastest ODI hundred by an Indian – 100* off 52 balls in Jaipur – to scoring a magical 82* off 51 deliveries to steer India into the semi-finals of the 2016 T20 World Cup, Kohli has grown into a master of run chases.
In 87 innings against Australia, Virat Kohli has scored 4,098 runs at a remarkable average of 53.22 – including 15 hundreds and 18 half-centuries.
1. Sachin Tendulkar (6,707 runs in 144 innings)
Sachin Tendulkar has to be at the top of almost every batting record existing in the history of cricket. He has scored the most runs by an Indian against Australia, that too without playing a single T20 game against them.
Tendulkar first grabbed the headlines Down Under at the age of 18, when he scored 148* at the SCG before following it up with a scintillating 114 on the world’s fastest pitch – the WACA in Perth.
He was once again in the news – this time in the India blue – when he smashed those twin hundreds in Sharjah in 1998 to singlehandedly help India win the Coca-Cola Cup.
If the Aussies are considered gritty, Sachin Tendulkar knew how to pay them back the same way as well. This was highlighted in 2004, when he curbed his natural instincts to not play a single shot through the off-side and make a memorable 241* at the SCG.
Such was his impact that people remembered his knocks more than the eventual results of many of those matches. A classic example of this was Tendulkar's 175 in Hyderabad which came in a lost cause, but is still considered one of the greatest ODI innings ever.
In a span of 13 years, Sachin Tendulkar batted 144 times against Australia and scored 6,707 runs at an average of 49.68 – smashing 20 hundreds and 31 fifties.Published 19 Nov 2020, 18:05 IST