The nearly 2-month long tour begins with the 3-match One-day International series, starting November 27 and Virat Kohli and Co. are all set for the challenge.
The Indian team has in recent years made remarkable improvement while playing against Australia in Australia, across formats.
As we count down to the ODI series, TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at 5 of the most unforgettable ODI encounters between the two teams in Australia over the years:
January 18, 2019 (3rd ODI) – India won series-decider by 7 wickets in Melbourne
Coming from behind in the three-match series, India won their first ever bilateral ODI series in Australia in 2019. Under the leadership of Virat Kohli, India did the unprecedented, defeating the Aaron Finch-led Australian team 2-1 in their own backyard for the very first time in a bilateral series. After levelling the series in Adelaide, Kohli and co. produced superb all-round cricket, helping India achieve the never-done-before in Melbourne. And the star of the show in that outing for India was Yuzvendra Chahal, who claimed figures of 6/42, restricting Australia to 230 in 48.4 overs. Chasing a par total, India too got off to a bad start, losing their openers early and then set Kohli (46) in the 30th over. But then came a majestic 87-run unbeaten knock from one of the greatest finishers of the game, MS Dhoni, which took India over the finish line in the series-decider. Dhoni along with Kedar Jadhav (61*) stitched an unbeaten 121-run partnership for the fourth wicket, steering India to a dominating 7-wicket win in the third and final ODI on January 18, 2019.
January 12, 2016 (1st ODI) – Australia beat India by 5 wickets in Perth
It’s not very often that Rohit Sharma is on-song and India still loses a match. But it has happened a few times Down Under. In fact all of Rohit’s four centuries vs Australia in Australia have been in losing causes. One such instance was the first ODI of the five-match series during the 2016 tour Down Under. On a quick WACA track, Rohit scored a majestic 171 not out alongside Virat Kohli’s super knock (91), guiding India to a strong 309/3, but those knocks were trumped by a scintillating 149 by Steve Smith. Rubbing salt in Indian wounds, George Bailey too scored a brilliant 112 to help Australia pull off an incredible 5-wicket win. All the Indian bowlers were taken to the cleaners by the Smith-Bailey duo as the surface turned batting friendly in the second half, helping Australia cross the finish-line with 4 balls to spare. It was a gripping contest. India however went on to lose the series 1-4 — one of their worst ever performances in white-ball cricket in Australia. The only match that India won in that series was the fifth and the final ODI in Sydney.
March 26, 2015 (ICC ODI World Cup semi-final) – Australia beat India by 95 runs in Sydney
When it comes to World Cup encounters, the India-Australia rivalry is at a whole different level. Australia, the most successful team at the quadrennial tournament, have more often than not dominated India on cricket’s biggest ODI stage. Something similar happened during the second semi-final of the 2015 ICC ODI World Cup when two of the strongest teams of that tournament locked horns in Sydney. A ruthless Australia dominated with the bat, posted 328/7 in the knock-out clash. Steve Smith scored a breathtaking 105 and was ably supported by opener Aaron Finch (81). Useful contributions from the middle and lower order helped Australia set up a strong strong total in the pressure game. Chasing a daunting target, India got off to a decent start but then started losing wickets at crucial junctures, eventually bowled out for 233. MS Dhoni (65) put up a good fight, but kept running out of partners as India eventually lost the match by a big 95-run margin. Virat Kohli’s 13-ball 1 run knock in the match was heavily criticised after India, who were one of the pre tournament favourites, were knocked out post the high-octane clash. Australia went on to win the title, beating New Zealand in the final.
March 4, 2008 – Commonwealth Bank Series second final – India won by 9 runs in Brisbane
One of the most cherished memories of Indian cricket fans and of the recently retired MS Dhoni would definitely be the CB series win back in 2008. It was a tri-series, featuring India, Australia and Sri Lanka. A relatively young Indian team faced a formidable Australian line up and Dhoni and his troops pulled off one of the greatest series wins in the history of India’s ODI cricket in the best of three finals. The second final in Brisbane will never be forgotten. India were already 1-0 up in the best-of-three final (after a 6 wicket win thanks largely to Sachin Tendulkar’s unbeaten 117) and master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar in the second final at the Gabba, stepped up and scored a terrific 91 to take India to a competitive 258/9. But it was a combined bowling effort led by pacer Praveen Kumar that helped India defend the total. Rattling the Aussie top-order, Praveen Kumar dismissed Adam Gilchrist (2), Ricky Ponting (1) and Michael Clark (12) cheaply and then came back again to clean up Brett Lee, setting up the win for India. He finished with figures of 4/46 in his 10 overs and was adjudged Man of the Match. Defending the 258 run total, S Sreesanth and Irfan Pathan too picked up a couple of wickets, as India bowled out Australia for 249 to clinch a 9 run win and with it, the series. Some top notch cricket and brilliant captaincy by Dhoni throughout the tournament, including in the finals, helped India come out on top against Australia and Sri Lanka in the tri-series. In the finals, it was an incredible reply by the young Indian team which had lost two of three matches in the league stage to the Aussies.
March 3, 1985 (Match 9 – Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket) – India beat Australia by 8 wickets in Melbourne
One of the most dominating performances by an Indian ODI team against Australia in Australia was during match 9 of the Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket series back in 1985,. It was a tournament that featured India, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, West Indies, England and Sri Lanka. In match 9 against the Aussies the Sunil Gavaskar-led Indian side crushed the hosts by 8 wickets in Melbourne. India came out all-guns blazing against the Allan Border-led side. A clinical performance by Kapil Dev and Roger Binny with the new ball first reduced Australia to 37/5 and then Mohinder Amarnath, L Sivaramakrishnan and Ravi Shastri joined forces to bundle out the hosts for just 163. Chasing a small total, Shastri (51) played a responsible knock at the top and K Srikkanth’s unbeaten 93 took India comfortably home with 8 wickets in hand. Shastri (51 & 1/34) was adjudged Man of the match. India later went on to win the Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket trophy, defeating Pakistan in the final by 8 wickets in Melbourne. That series win remains one of the biggest highlights in India’s ODI history.