By Aakash Kumar
New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) Team India will begin their much-anticipated Australia tour with the three-match ODI series beginning November 27. While India’s ODI record is not that great in Australia, things changed for them drastically when they, for the first time, won the CB Series in 2008, with Sri Lanka neing the third team.
During India’s last tour Down Under, Virat Kohli’s boys won the three-ODI series 2-1. Former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the star performer as he had scored 193 runs in the three matches.
As India once again prepare to take on the Aussies in the ODi an T20 series in their own backyard — Sydney and Canberra — IANS takes a look at some of the top batting performances from Indian batters in 50-over matches Down Under.
Dhoni’s 44 not out (Adelaide, 2012):
Chasing Australia’s 270 at the Adelaide Oval on February 12, Gautam Gambhir kept India in the hunt with a majestic 92. However, a steady bowling performance by the Aussies kept the game in the balance. And it all boiled down to India requiring 13 runs from the final over, with Clint McKay taking on skipper Dhoni.
Dhoni, who was until then struggling to find the middle of the bat as he crawled to 33 from 55 balls before the final over, sent the high-pressure third delivery for a monumental 112-metre long maximum, one of the biggest sixes ever hit at the venue, and then secured the win with two balls to spare. Dhoni ensured the team chased down the target, almost single-handedly, and remaining unbeaten on 44 .
Sachin Tendulkar’s 117 not out (2008, Sydney):
In the first final of the 2008 CB Series, Tendulkar played one of the finest ODI knocks by an Indian player in Australia. Chasing 240 for victory, India needed a good start and Tendulkar provided just that impetus.
While the team lost opener Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh cheaply, Tendulkar held one end up. Using all his experience, the ‘Master Blaster’ played a very mature knock and occupied the crease for 235 minutes during which he faced 120 deliveries and scored 117 runs with the help of 10 fours. Incidentally, it was his first ODI century in Australia, his 42nd in total.
The champion batsman carried that form into the second final, in which he scored 91 to help India post 258 for nine wickets, and defended that total successfully to win the CB Series title.
Rohit Sharma 171 not out (Perth, 2016):
One of the players that India will miss in the upcoming ODI series will be Rohit Sharma. He has been a linchpin of Indian batting in limited-overs cricket. Time and again he has played some incredible knocks which just leaves fans awestruck. One such knock came on January 12, 2016, when the Mumbai batsman came into his own and smashed the Australian bowlers to all parts of the WACA ground in Perth.
Sharma batted for 205 minutes, during which he faced 163 balls and scored unbeaten 171 with the help of 13 fours and seven sixes. Courtesy his knock, India set a 310-run target which the Steve Smith-led side chased down with four balls to spare to win by five wickets.
Manish Pandey’s 104 not out (Sydney, 2016):
Having already lost the five-match series, India had nothing to lose in the final match played on January 23 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Chasing 331, Pandey, who came out to bat at the number four, went out all guns blazing and played a brilliant unbeaten knock of 104 off just 81 deliveries, hitting eight fours and a six. Along with Pandey, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan also made significant contributions of 99 and 78 respectively as India registered a six-wicket win and avoided a white-wash.
Virat Kohli’s 104 (Adelaide, 2019):
After losing the first match, pressure was on the Indian team as they had to win in Adelaide to keep the three-match series alive. And the occasion demanded a big-match player to step up, and as often it happens, Kohli did. Chasing 299 to win on January 15, India were provided a good start as Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan added 47 runs in 7.4 overs. Kohli, who batted at his preferred No.3 spot, played a superb knock of 104 (112 balls) with the help of just five fours and two sixes.
The innings was a vintage Kohli innings that comprised a lot of singles and doubles. When he got out in the 44th over, India still needed 57 runs. In the end, MS Dhoni (55 not out) and Dinesh Karthik (24 not out) took the visitors across the line with four balls to spare.
Dhoni’s 87 not out (Melbourne, 2019):
This was one series in which captain Dhoni’s bat just couldn’t stop scoring runs. After playing knocks of 51 and 55 not out in the first two matches, it was the big finale at the MCG on January 18. Indian bowlers came out with a good performance as they bowled out Australia for 230 in 48.4 overs.
While it seemed from previous match’s batting performance, the chase would be a cakewalk. But India lost both openers with 59 runs on the board by the 17th over. However, Kohli and Dhoni tried to steer India’s ship and took the team’s total to 113 before the latter went back to the pavilion after scoring 46.
The Australians sensed an opportunity to take control of the game following Kohli’s departure. However, Dhoni, along with Kedar Jadhav, took the innings forward and ensured the team chase down the target with four balls to spare. While Dhoni remained not out on 87, a 114-ball knock studded with six boundaries, Jadhav supported him well until the end and remained unbeaten on 61 — and help India end the historic tour on a grand note.