India and Australia will play a three-match ODI series from November 27. The two nations share a great rivalry across all formats. In the ODIs, their rivalry reaches another level, with both India and Australia fighting with the skin of their teeth to eke out a win. Their matches have also seen some great performances, with players from either team notching up some memorable knocks or spells. Here is the all-time XI of India vs Australia in ODIs.
1) Sachin Tendulkar
The ‘God of Cricket’ always reserved his best for Australia, which was the best team during Tendulkar’s era. Sachin's twin tons in 1998 Coca-Cola Cup at Sharjah were one of the best batting performances by an Indian batsman against the mighty Aussies. Tendulkar topped the list of players who have scored the most runs in India vs Australia ODIs. Tendulkar has scored 3077 runs @ 44.59 with 9 tons and 15 fifties in 71 ODIs against Australia.
2) Rohit Sharma
The Hitman gets to partner Tendulkar in this XI. Since he started opening the batting in ODIs in 2013, Rohit has plundered runs against the Australian bowling attack, milking them for 8 tons – the second joint-most tons against Australia in ODIs with Virat Kohli. Rohit averages 61.33 in India vs Australia ODIs – the highest by any batsman who has played 20 ODIs in India vs Australia contests. Rohit has scored 2208 runs in 40 ODIs against Australia.
3) Ricky Ponting (Captain)
Ponting gets to lead this XI, and also bats at No 3. He has the best record as captain in India vs Australia ODIs. He has a winning percentage of 67.74, winning 21 ODIs out of 35 matches as captain. He also takes the third spot in the list of most runs in India vs Australia ODIs. He has scored 2164 runs @ 40.07 with 6 tons and 9 fifties in 59 ODIs against India. His best knock against India came in 2003 World Cup final where he scored a brilliant 140 not out to steer Australia to 2nd straight title.
4) Virat Kohli
Kohli also loves to bat against the Australia bowling attack. In fact, the ‘Men in Yellow’ pushes Kohli to give his best across all formats. He averages 54.57 against Australia in ODIs – the second-best after Rohit Sharma. He has scored 1910 runs with 8 tons and 8 fifties in 40 ODIs against Australia. However, he gets to bat at No 4 in this XI to add solidity to the middle-order.
5) Michael Bevan
Bevan was deemed the best finisher of his time. He has the uncanny habit of finishing off games for his team with ease. He used to bat with the tailenders to ensure the team has the best chance for a win. He also gets to play in this XI for these unique skills of his. He has scored 1081 runs @ 49.13 with 1 ton and 5 fifties against India in 35 ODIs.
6) Steve Waugh
Yes, Waugh’s all-round skills have been best in display against the Indians. He takes the all-rounder’s spot in this XI. He has scored 1117 runs @ 29.39 with 7 fifties in 53 ODIs against India. Waugh, a part-time medium-pacer, has also taken 43 wickets in 53 ODIs against India, taking the fourth spot in the list of most wicket-takers in India vs Australia ODIs.
7) Adam Gilchrist
Gilly has been preferred over MS Dhoni in this XI as he is a better batsman and keeper than his Indian counterpart. Besides, Gilly could tear apart any bowling attack on his day, and can be used as a floater in the line-up. He could bat as an opener, play as a pinch hitter, or don the responsibility of taking the team across the finish line.
Gilly has scored 1622 runs @ 36.86 with 1 ton and 12 fifties against India in 46 ODIs. He also had 79 dismissals – 73 caught and 6 stumpings – against India – the most by any keeper in India vs Australia ODIs.
8) Anil Kumble
Kumble has been one of the best spinners in India vs Australia ODIs. He gets to play in this XI as he would take the pitch out of the equation, and still take wickets with his variations and skills. Even if he could not take wickets on unresponsive pitches, he would ensure he remains economical and puts pressure on the opposition batsmen. For the records, he has taken 31 wickets in 29 ODIs against Australia.
9) Brett Lee
Lee is the leading wicket-taker in India vs Australia ODIs, bagging 55 wickets in 32 ODIs. He used to demolish the Indian bowling attack with his sheer pace as the Indian batsmen were not used to such raw fast bowling in the Indian sub-continent. And he did it quite well, bagging 4 five-wicket hauls against the Indians, while no other bowler has had more than one in India vs Australia ODIs. He also averaged a brilliant 21 with the ball – the best ever in India vs Australia ODIs.
10) Kapil Dev
Bowling against the likes of Dean Jones, David Boon, Allan Border was no easy task. But Kapil was up for the challenge, and his swing and variations forced the mighty Aussies to lose their wickets. Kapil is second in the list of highest wicket-takers, with 45 wickets @ 27.68 in 41 ODIs against Australia. He also had an economy rate of 3.67 - the best among bowlers who have played at least 20 ODIs in India vs Australia contests.
11) Mitchell Johnson
The left-arm pacer was too good for the Indians, as his ability to bring back the ball into the right-hander got majority of the wickets. He holds the 3rd spot in the list of most wicket-takers in India vs Australia ODIs, bagging 43 wickets @ 26.06 in 27 ODIs.
All-time XI: Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting (captain), Virat Kohli, Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchrist (keeper), Michael Bevan, Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson.
Cover image photo: Bcci.tv