The Indian cricket side’s tour to Australia always brings amusement, thrill, and great memories for cricket fans. The men in blue against the green and gold are well known for their fighting spirit, and the quality of cricket which both teams offer.
The Visitors came up with the hope to repeat the heroics of the 2018-19 Aussie tour where they drew the T20I series, took the ODI series, and dominated the Australians in the Test series as well. But is it the same, this time around? Have we seen all on offer from these two sides on this tour? Does an exciting end to this fascinating tour await us? Only time will tell.
Let’s revisit some of the highlights so far and make some predictions on the remaining matches.
ODI Series proved to be an easy one for the Australians
It seems the Kohli-led side was caught unprepared in the first two ODIs as they were still adapting to the Australian conditions. The hosts went 2-nill up in the first two matches of the ODI series comprehensively. However, the visitors didn’t take long to strike back. The Indian side won the last ODI to avoid the whitewash, and it proved to be the take-off factor as they found a winning momentum for the T20I series. Let’s have a look at some of the notable performances from the ODI series.
First ODI Highlights: Finch, Smith, and Maxwell shine with the bat | Sydney, Nov 27 2020Australia won by 66 runs
Australia posted a mammoth total of 374-6 in the first ODI. Captain Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, and Glenn Maxwell were the notable performers with the bat. Both the top-order batsmen provided a solid start by making hundreds, and Maxwell did the rest by playing a cameo of 45 runs in just 19 deliveries!
Chasing such a big total in Australian grounds is always tough, and it proved so as the Indian side was found short of 66 runs. However, Hardik Pandya kept them in the game by scoring 90 of just 76 balls until he got out in 39th over from Adam Zampa’s bowling.
Second ODI Highlights: Super Smith smashes second straight 62-ball century | Sydney, Nov 29 2020Australia won by 51 runs
The Australian batting line-up punished the men in blue yet again by setting up a huge total of 389-4 in 50 overs. All of the top 5 batsmen of the Australian side scored 50+ runs, with Smith being the only centurion. The notable change from the 1st ODI was his strike rate. Super Smith smashed the Indian bowling attack with a second straight century off just 62 balls. The rest was done by Maxwell as he provided the finishing touch by scoring 63 runs with a whopping strike rate of 217.24.
The Indian side kept their fighting spirit but ultimately fell short by 51 runs. Virat Kohli and KL Rahul were the notable performers with the bat for India. The former scored 89, while the latter managed to fetch 76 runs. However, both the batters couldn’t see their side over the line.
Third ODI Highlights: The Indian Side Strikes Back to Avoid Whitewash | Canberra, Dec 2 2020India won by 13 runs
The final ODI of the series was the closest encounter among all 3 matches. India batted first for the 1st time in the series. They were struggling at 152-5 when the Pandya-Jadeja duo managed to add a 150-run-partnership off the last 18 overs. The former scored 92 runs, while the latter made 66 runs. The men in blue managed to go past the 300 run mark, courtesy of this 6th wicket partnership.
The hosts struggled in the chase right from the start as they were 158-5 with all of their top five batsmen back in the pavilion. The Indian side held their nerves and snatched a famous victory in the last over.
T20I Series: India Wins the Series 2-1
It looks as if Team India learned a harsh lesson from the ODI series. They replicated Australia’s domination in ODIs to take the T20I series in the same way. The Indian side took the series by winning the first two T20Is. The Aussies secured the final T20I to avoid the clean sweep. Let’s have a glance at what happened in each round of the T20I series.
First T20I Highlights: The Australians fell short of just 11 runs! | Canberra, Dec 4 2020India won by 11 runs
The Indian side batted first and posted 161-7 in 20 overs. KL Rahul provided a start with a fifty, whereas Ravindra Jadeja finished the inning with a quick 44-run cameo of just 23 deliveries.
The Hosts couldn’t chase a moderate target of 162. India’s bowling collectively managed to restrict the in-form Aussie batting line-up for 150-7 in 20 overs. There weren’t many notable performers with the bat for Team Australia.
Captain Finch was the highest run-scorer with 35 runs for the Aussies. Whereas, Indian debutant, Thangarasu Natarajan and the mystery spinner Yuzvendra Chahal collectively kept the pressure on the hosts with each taking 3 wickets. The most notable and somewhat controversial moment of the game was the 1st concussion substitute of the T20Is: Chahal filling the shoes of Jadeja, and it proved quite a useful move for the hosts.
Second T20I Highlights: The Last Over Thriller | Sydney, Dec 6 2020India won by 6 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
The second T20I was a thriller. It surely kept us glued to our TV screens right until the last over. The Finch-led side had to win the game to keep the series alive, but couldn’t. After posting a formidable target of 195, fans of the home side would have backed on them to defend it, but the visitors had other ideas.
Pandya played a herculean inning by finishing the game in the last over. He smashed two huge sixes of Daniel Sams’ bowling to seal the deal and the series.
Third T20I Highlights: The Hosts Avoid 3-0 Defeat | Sydney, Dec 8 2020Australia won by 12 runs
Australia reached the Sydney Cricket Ground with the hope of avoiding humiliation. They had to win the last game to avoid a clean sweep. Luckily, they managed to achieve a 12-run win over the hosts. Noteworthy performers with the bat were Mathew Wade (80 runs off 53 balls) and Maxwell (54 off 36 balls). Besides, young leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson stood out with the bowl by taking 3 wickets.
The Indian side couldn’t chase the total this time. Although, they took the series 2-1.
With this, both sides set their sights on the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the 4-match Test series. The Australian side would be without David Warner this time, and the Indian side would miss veteran fast bowler Ishant Sharma. Moreover, King Kohli will also feature in the 1st Test only. So, let’s have a look at the Test series.
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy: 4 Match Test SeriesDecember 2020 – January 2021
The South Asian giants took the series 2-1 when they visited last time in Australia. Although, the Aussies were without their 2 top-order batsmen, i.e., Smith and Warner. The Australians were ready to turn the tide on the Indian side this time. Whereas the Indian side was ready to give a tough challenge to the hosts.
Let’s review the 2 test matches that have been played so far and give some predictions to indicate where the two sides are heading.
First Test Match (D/N): The Hosts Go 1-0 Up Comprehensively | Adelaide, Dec 17 – Dec 19 2020Australia won by 8 wickets
The Indian side was initially in the driving seat for the first two days of the game. They even had a lead of 53 runs for the second inning. However, their dominance and their hope to go 1-0 up in the series were dashed by a brilliant spell of Josh Hazlewood. He tore through the Indian batting line-up with his swing and seam bowling. The veteran bowler took 5 wickets in just 5 overs and India was bowled out for 36 runs! Amazing, isn’t it?
India’s lowest ever Test score meant that the hosts had to chase only 90 runs to seal the 1st Test match. Tim Paine’s side won the game by 8 wickets in the end.
Second Test Match: Rahane and Co. level the series | Melbourne, Dec 26 – Dec 29 2020India won by 8 wickets
India came out of nowhere in the Second Test. Most of the cricket pundits predicted a 4-0 series defeat for the men in blue. However, the Rahane-led side had other ideas. They triumphed over the hosts by winning the Boxing Day Test Match, a feat that not many touring sides have achieved.
There were a few notable performances for the winning side. Firstly, they restricted the Aussies to a small total of 195 with the assistance of Jasprit Bumrah and the debutant, Mohammed Siraj, taking 4 and 2 wickets, respectively. Secondly, their batters grabbed this opportunity with both hands and went past the three hundred mark. Captain Rahane completed his century, whereas Jadeja scored a fifty.
In reply, the Aussies couldn’t score much and were bowled out for 200. This meant a 70-run target for Rahane’s side, and they chased it quite comprehensively. With this, the ghosts of Adelaide were buried, and India squared the series 1-1.
Final Two Matches: What to Look for?
The hosts have made 3 changes to their Test squad. The veteran opener, David Warner, will be back along with Will Pucovski and Sean Abbott. The left-handed-opener will surely be an added advantage for the home side as he has been reliable for the hosts across all three formats.
India would most likely continue with the same playing 11 to keep their winning momentum. However, the Aussies will have a forced change with the form issues of opener Joe Burns. It needs to be seen whether the hosts go for young opener, Pucovski, or they stick with Wade along with Warner.
Nevertheless, one thing is for sure…. we’re headed towards an exciting end to this amazing series.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License