In cricket, batsmen love to score against a particular opponent. In fact, they bring out their best batting performances against a particular team. For example, Sachin Tendulkar always scored heavily against Australia, and in key games to win India a few major tournaments such as the 1998-99 Coca-Cola Cup.
India too has been at the receiving end of few opposition batsmen who have scored heavily against the ‘Men In Blue’ in Test cricket compared to other opponents.
Cricwizz takes a look.
1) Mathew Hayden (Australia)
The Australian opener has had always been a pain for Indian bowlers and made a lot of runs against India across formats. He averages the best (59) against India in Tests compared to other main Test opponents. He has also hit at a good strike rate (65.92) against India – the best against any main Test team. It means he loved dominating Indian bowlers. He scored 6 Test tons against India – the joint highest with South Africa. In comparison, Hayden averages 45.65 against England, Australia’s cricketing rivals.
Hayden against India in Tests
2) Joe Root (England)
Just like Hayden, Joe Root, England Test skipper, also reserves his best against India. He has his best Test records against India. He averages 61 against India in 24 Tests – his best against any Test opponents. He has cracked 8 tons against India, followed by 4 tons against Sri Lanka. Against cricketing rivals Australia, Root averages just 40.33, and just 3 tons against them. In the current Test series, Root again has had the measure of Indian bowling attack and notched up two straight tons against them so far.
Root against India in Tests
**Note: Root's stat figures are till 2021 Oval Test against India, 2021.
3) Andy Flower (Zimbabwe)
The Zimbabwean cricketer troubled Indian bowlers throughout his Test career. He averages a Bradmanesque batting average of 94.83 against India in 9 Tests. He totaled 1138 runs against India – the only team he scored over 1000 runs. He scored 3 tons and 7 fifties against India – the most against any other Test team. He scored a record 232* against India while following on to save the Nagpur Test in 2000.
Andy Flower against India in Tests
Cover photo courtesy: CricketNation