India vs Australia, stats preview: From Virat Kohli’s captaincy in Tests to visitors’ inexperience
Take a look at why the odds will be stacked against Steve Smith's men when they take on Virat Kohli's India in a four-Test series in sub-continental conditions.
Virat Kohli has barely put a foot wrong over the last few months. However, against Australia that may just change as Steve Smith's men will leave no stone unturned to keep him in check. The visitors have a world-class opener in David Warner, a thinking captain in Steve Smith and a pace bowler in Mitchell Starc, who takes wickets at crucial junctures of the game.
Over the past few months, New Zealand, England and Bangladesh have all visited India and lost to the hosts. What proved critical to the outcome of all three series was that the visiting teams failed to seize important phases of the game. However, the Australians have the ability to take control in such critical junctures.
For India, the batting department looks to be on solid ground, barring the form of Lokesh Rahul. The Indian spinners and pacers, too, are in form of their lives. However, they have still lot to prove. On the other hand, the Aussie bowlers will face a mighty task of helping their pacers out.
Here’s a comprehensive statistical preview of the four-Test series between India and Australia.
It’s always difficult for visiting teams to beat India in India. Australia last won a Test match in India in 2004. Since then, they have lost nine of the 11 Tests they have played in India. However, in Australia, Australia have won 23 more Tests than India while in India, they have lost seven more Tests as compared to India. The most notable fact here is that Australia have lost their last nine Tests in the sub-continent. Their last Test victory in Asia came in 2011 when they beat Sri Lanka at Galle.
Australia must keep in mind the fact that they have only won single Test series in India from last nine Test series. Overall, India have won seven Test series in India against Australia while two series were ended in a draw.
The recent form guide backs India as they are unbeaten in their last 19 Tests. However, Australia have also found some form since their defeat in the second Test against South Africa at Hobart in 2016, beating successive Tests, one against South Africa and three against Pakistan.
Recent form (Last 10 Tests)
Generally for visiting teams, it is crucial to perform better in the first Test in India to gain momentum for the rest of the series. Australia have done that well as they have won the first Test of the series in India six times out of the 13 instances they have come knocking. It will be important for them to play solid cricket at Pune where the first Test will be played. However, they have lost their first Test of a series on the last two occasions.
Both Virat Kohli and Steve Smith believe in leading from the front. Kohli has hit a purple patch in the longer format of the game as skipper. What will be intriguing to see is what strategy Australian captain Steve Smith employs in the first Test to stop India’s dream run.
India's batsmen like Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli are currently in hot form. Add to that Ajinkya Rahane’s score in the last Test against Bangladesh and India would like to post a mammoth total in their first innings every time to put pressure on the Australians.
India's specialist batsmen in India (From current squad):
The Australians, on the other hand, have a relatively inexperienced squad. Among their batsmen, only their captain and vice-captain have played Tests in India. David Warner and Steve Smith’s form will be key to how the Australians perform.
Australia's specialist batsmen in India (From current squad):
India's bowlers have also started to assert themselves off late. India will once again rely on spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to spur their bowling to take 20 Australian wickets in each Test.
Like their batting, Australian bowling is also inexperienced — from the current squad, just three bowlers have picked up more than a wicket in India in Tests. They will heavily depend on Mitchell Starc to come good.
Here are some individual records in India-Australia Tests held in India:
For India: 1821 runs by Sachin Tendulkar in 19 Tests
For Australia: 1027 runs by Matthew Hayden in 11 Tests
For India: 86 wickets by Harbhajan Singh from 14 Tests
For Australia: 52 wickets by Richie Benaud from 8 Tests
For India: 36 dismissals by MS Dhoni from 10 Tests
For Australia: 29 dismissals by Adam Gilchrist from 7 Tests
For India: 32 catches by Rahul Dravid from 17 Tests
For Australia: 20 catches by Ricky Ponting from 14 Tests
For India: 657/7d at Kolkata in 2001
For Australia: 577 at Delhi in 2008
For India: 104 at Mumbai in 2004
For Australia: 93 at Mumbai in 2004
Highest individual score:
For India: 281 by VVS Laxman at Kolkata in 2001
For Australia: 210 by Dean Jones at Chennai in 1986
Best bowling in an innings:
For India: 9/69 by Jasubhai Patel at Kanpur in 1959
For Australia: 8/215 by Jason Krejza at Nagpur in 2008
Best bowling in a match:
For India: 15/217 by Harbhajan Singh at Chennai in 2001
For Australia: 12/124 by Alan Davidson at Kanpur in 1959
There are as many as eight Indian players featuring in the Women's Big Bash this season and the leading stars also feature in the Hundred in the UK.
Starc said Australia's slide from being at the top in May last year to seventh in the T20 rankings is misleading and irrelevant to the T20 World Cup.
The India opener said the performances put in by the bowling unit, led by Jhulan Goswami in the ODIs and one-off Test and by Shikha Pandey in the T20Is, was the biggest positive for the India women's cricket team in their recent multi-format series in Australia.