India vs Australia: Top 3 bowlers with best strike rates in ODIs
Having easily seen off the Sri Lankan challenge in the T20Is, India are now gearing up to face a confident Australia team in a three-match ODI series at home. An insipid Sri Lanka were no match for India in the T20Is, but the Australians will undoubtedly present a greater challenge for the hosts in the ODIs, the first of which will be played tomorrow.
The last time these two teams met in India for a limited overs series was less than a year ago. So, the fact that Australia won both the T20I contests as well as the ODI series will be fresh in India's minds.
Pat Cummins, who last month received a record IPL pay package of ₹15.5 crores from the Kolkata Knight Riders at the auction, was the leading wicket-taker in the ODIs (14 scalps) the last time these two teams met in India. He will be keen to lead from the front again.
With the India-Australia series set to kick-off in Mumbai on Tuesday, we look at the top three bowlers with best strike rates in the ODI contests between the two top sides in the world.
#3 Mitchell Johnson
One of Australia’s greatest left-arm seamers, Mitchell Johnson is third on the list with a strike rate of 30.7 from 27 matches. Johnson claimed 43 wickets in ODIs against India at an average of 26.06 and an economy rate of 5.08.
Also see – World Test Championship points table
Johnson’s impressive numbers included one five-wicket haul and two four-wicket hauls. His best of 5 for 26 came at Vadodara in October 2017 during the fifth ODI of that series. Johnson ran through the Indian line-up and dismissed the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa and MS Dhoni. The hosts crumbled to 148 all out as Australia registered a convincing nine-wicket win.
The left-arm seamer ran through India with sensational figures of 4 for 11 in four overs in the third match of the DLF Cup at Kuala Lumpur in September 2006. In a rain-affected game, India were chasing 170 in 29 overs. In no time, Johnson dismissed Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Irfan Pathan and Yuvraj Singh. India were reeling at 35 for 5 when the rain Gods came to their rescue, and ensured there was no result in the match.
In the high-scoring ODI at Mohali in October 2013, Johnson stood out with figures of 4 for 46, to keep India to 303, despite MS Dhoni’s unbeaten 139 from 121 balls. In his last ODI match against India, Johnson made a significant contribution as well. This was the semi-final of the 2015 World Cup at Sydney, and the experienced pacer got the big scalps of Virat Kohli (1) and Rohit Sharma (34) to derail India’s chase of 329.
#2 Ajit Agarkar
Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar may be remembered for his seven consecutive ducks against Australia in Tests, but enjoyed a fine time against the Aussies with the ball in ODIs, a format in which he was one of India’s best at his prime.
In 21 matches against the Australians, Agarkar claimed 36 scalps at a strike rate of 29.1. He got his wickets at an average of 28.41, and an economy rate of 5.84, which was never his strong suit. Agarkar picked up one five-wicket haul and two four-fors against the Aussies.
His best of 6 for 42 came at Melbourne in January 2004. He dismissed Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Damien Martyn at the start of the innings before returning to remove Andrew Symonds for 88. Agarkar’s efforts kept Australia to 288, but a strong Indian batting line-up failed to chase down the target, despite half-centuries from Sourav Ganguly (82), and Tendulkar (63).
Very early in his career, Agarkar picked up 4 for 46 in the fourth match of the triangular series at Kanpur in 1998. He got the big scalp of Gilchrist at the top of the order. Towards the end of the innings, he thwarted a Australian fightback, getting the better of Ricky Ponting (84) and Tom Moody (44). Thanks to Agarkar, Australia were restricted to 222 for 9, and the hosts emerged victorious, courtesy of Tendulkar’s blazing 100 from 89 balls.
Agarkar also claimed 4 for 37 on his home ground, the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, in the fourth match of the TVS Cup in November 2003. Damien Martyn’s fluent hundred, however, led Australia to a 77-run triumph as India failed to chase down 287. Nathan Bracken and Michael Clarke also claimed four scalps in the match.
#1 Brett Lee
Former Australian pacer Brett Lee, the quickest bowler in the world alongside Shoaib Akhtar at one point of time, enjoyed tremendous success against India in the ODIs. In 32 matches against India, he had a strike rate of 28. Lee claimed 55 wickets versus the Indians at an average of 21, and an economy rate of 4.49. He had as many as four five-wicket hauls to his credit against India.
Very early in his career, Lee dismantled India with 5 for 27 at Adelaide in the 10th match of the tri-series in January 2000. After Mark Waugh’s 116 and Adam Gilchrist’s 92 led Australia to an impressive 329 for 5, Lee jolted India’s chase by dismissing Tendulkar for 18. He then trapped Hrishikesh Kanitkar lbw first ball before running through the tail as India crumbled to 177 all out.
Lee was the Man of the Match as Australia defended 213 in the sixth match of the DLF Cup at Kuala Lumpur in September 2006. Lee had Tendulkar dismissed for 4 before cleaning up Virender Sehwag for 10. He also ended Dhoni’s vigil on 23, and ran through the tail for figures of 5 for 38.
The speedster registered two more five-fors against India in the 2008 CB series. The first came at Brisbane in February. His 5 for 27 in the first match rolled over India for 194. Lee had Tendulkar hit-wicket, and added the wickets of Rohit, Manoj Tiwary and skipper Dhoni. India escaped with two points as the match was rained out.
A few days later at Sydney, Lee picked up another five-wicket haul, this time in a winning cause. Ricky Ponting’s 124 set India a target of 318 in the 10th match of the series. Lee’s 5 for 58 restricted India to 299, despite Gautam Gambhir’s 113. Lee again got the big scalp of Tendulkar (trapped lbw for 2), and added the important wicket of Dhoni (36).
He also thwarted a dangerous lower order comeback, getting rid of Uthappa (51), Pathan (22) and Harbhajan Singh (20 from 11). Off the first ball of the 50th over, he cleaned up Ishant Sharma (2) to bowl Australia to a 18-run triumph.