Australia had their worst year in ODI cricket in 2018 (in terms of win-loss ratio). With the World Cup less than three months away, the series assumes huge significance and Australia would look to set their record straight in India – which has been on a downward curve since World Cup, 2011.
Overall though, Australia has won more than they have lost in India in ODIs, with 49 wins and 32 losses - a win/loss ratio of 1.53. It is their third-worst win/loss ratio in any country in the fifty-over format but the fact that they have won more than they have lost in every country they have played in just shows the supremacy previous Australian teams commanded in world cricket.
This record, though, is on the wane in the past few years. Since the Champions Trophy in England in 2017, Australia have won just 4 of their 21 ODIs (against all opposition) with series losses against India (twice), England (twice) and South Africa. They have played 8 ODIs (both home and away) against India and have won just 2 losing six of these encounters in this time-frame.
In India, in particular, Australia’s record has declined significantly since 2011 when the hosts knocked them out of the World Cup in the semi-finals. Prior to the 2011 World Cup, Australia had won 16 of their 30 ODIs in India while losing just 10.
Since the 2011 World Cup in bilaterals against India in the country, Australia have won just thrice and lost seven matches in the two five-match series they have played (in 2013 and 2017). Their last win in India in a bilateral series came a decade ago in 2009. Since then they have suffered three series’ losses to India in India (in 2010, 2013 and 2017).
Aaron Finch has an excellent record in bilateral ODIs in India – 478 runs in 6 innings at an average of 95.60 and strike rate of 116.01. Glenn Maxwell has been in scintillating form in T20 cricket and will be the destructive force in the middle order – his strike rate of 144.33 in India a testimony to his hitting prowess.
Among bowlers, Nathan Coulter-Nile is Australia’s most successful in India since 2011 with 10 wickets in 6 matches at 33.1. Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa haven’t been too impressive and would look to make amends.
Earlier this year, Australia were beaten by India in their own backyard in the ODI series.
Recent history and form of both the teams suggest that the final outcome of this series should be no different.
First Published: March 2, 2019, 11:35 AM IST