New Delhi, Sep 13: Team India will face bitter rivals Australia for the first time at home under the leadership of skipper Virat Kohli.
The contest between these two teams is perhaps one of the best rivalries in the modern day cricket for obvious reasons that they are the best in the business.
The present captains of these teams i.e. Steve Smith and Kohli are hailed as modern day greats and are capable of single-handedly winning the matches for their team.
What makes the contest between India and Australia more interesting due to the fact that both these teams have enough firepower till the end and no one can predict who's going to win.
The rivalry between India and Australia is going deeper with every passing series as players from both the sides are ready to put in their best in order to win.
Last time these two sides met each other in a bilateral series was in 2015/16 season when Australia won the ODI series by 4-1. However, India came back strongly in the T20I series, that followed, and whitewashed the Aussies 3-0. The tour thus ended in a 4-all win for both the sides.
India would want to avenge the humiliation of the 4-1 loss in 2015/16 season and would also be eager to repeat good show against the same opponents when they last toured India. India won the 7 ODI series against the Aussies by 3-2 under the leadership of former skipper MS Dhoni in 2013/14 season.
The entire series turned out to be a run fest as scoring 300-plus was the norm in that series and teams used to achieve the target chasing. It was the same series when Rohit Sharma slammed his maiden double ton (209 off 158 balls). India's top-order comprising Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli went all guns blazing in that series and added 839 runs together.
So far 123 ODI matches have been played between the two teams. Out of these India have won 41 and lost 72 against Australia. But the picture has changed a lot since 2000/01. India are no more the handicapped side they once used to be, especially against the Aussies.
Here's how India-Australia bilateral ODI series has panned out since 2000:
2000/01 Australia In India ODI series: Winner - Australia, Margin - 3-2 (5 ODIs)
2007/08 Australia in India ODI series: Winner - Australia, Margin - 4-2 (7 ODIs)
2009/10 Australia in India series: Winner - Australia, Margin - 4-2 (7 ODIs)
2010/11 Australia in India ODI series: Winner - India, Margin - 1-0 (3 ODIs)
2013/14 Australia in India ODI series: Winner - India, Margin - 3-2 (7 ODIs)
2015/16 India in Australia ODI series: Winner - Australia, Margin - 4-1 (5 ODIs)
Kohli is a force to reckon with:
India's batting mainstay and inspiring captain Kohli has proved himself to be a nemesis for the Australians for he has scored 1002 runs from 23 ODIs. Kohli has slammed 5 centuries and 4 fifties against the Kangaroos and averages a 55.66 - which is almost on par with his career best average of 55.75.
Kohli has had a brilliant run in 2017 so far. He's the highest ODI scorer in this year and first to complete 1000 runs this year, and has smashed four centuries. If the 28-year-old continues his red-hot-form then there's no stopping Men In Blue.
Smith not too behind:
Kohli's counterpart Smith is no different either for he has produced similar dominating performances against Indians. Smith averages 66.71 against India while his career average is 44.26, way below 50. He would be a major hurdle in front of Indian bowlers.
India have the home advantage:
However, playing at home will be an added advantage for the Indians and the fact that they won five ODI series in a row ever since that 4-1 loss against Australia (in Australia), proves Men In Blue are a force to reckon with. The way they decimated Sri Lanka by 5-0 in the recently concluded ODI series must also be in the minds of the Australian side.
But, all these figures and records might take a back seat when these two rival sides actually step on the ground and face each other. Hence, the upcoming tournament between these two sides is being followed very closely for a 4-1 win or better for any side might propel them to the top of ICC rankings.