ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

India v Australia, World Cup 2011, Ahmedabad

In-form batting gives India advantage

India are the more consistent batting side going into the quarter-final, but Australia's excellent big-match record balances things

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan

March 23, 2011

Comments: 21 | Text size: A | A

Brett Lee returned with the old ball to remove Younis Khan, Australia v Pakistan, Group A, World Cup 2011, Colombo, March 19, 2011
Brett Lee: the highest wicket taker for Australia against India in ODIs © Getty Images
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Australia unmatched in World Cups
Being pre-tournament favourites, Australia and India were not expected to meet earlier than the semi-finals. However, Australia's surprise loss to Pakistan in their final game has meant that they play India for the first time in World Cups in the quarter-final stage.

While India have been the better team in the tournament so far, Australia's biggest plus is their extraordinary record in knockout games in big tournaments. They have won nine and lost just three of the knockout games played since 1999. Their last loss to India in a major tournament came in the ICC Champions Trophy in Nairobi in 2000. Although their 34-match undefeated streak came to an end with the loss to Pakistan, they still have their run of three successive World Cup wins and two Champions Trophy titles to defend. Australia have a 7-2 record in head-to-head clashes with India in World Cups, including four wins in the last four meetings. India will also be well aware that they have not won a single game in a major tournament against Australia when batting second.

Australia were totally dominant in ODIs in India between 2000 and 2007 but they have been more vulnerable of late, and India have a more even record against them in the last three years. Australia will, however, draw confidence from the fact that they won an ODI series against India in 2009 with a highly depleted side.

Australia v India in ODIs
Played Australia India W/L ratio (Australia)
Overall 104 61 35 1.74
Since 2005 24 12 8 1.50
In India (2000-2007) 17 11 5 2.20
In India after 2007 7 4 3 1.33
In global tournaments 13 8 4 2.00

Closer contest in recent years
Australia won 11 of the 16 ODIs played against India in India between 2000 and 2007. The retirement of Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Damien Martyn has significantly affected Australia's batting strength. In ODIs between the two sides before 2007, Australia averaged over 42 and scored at 5.73 runs per over while India averaged less than 30 and scored at a lower rate. In ODIs after 2007, India have done a lot better, averaging over 35 and scoring at 5.58 runs per over, a rate slightly higher than Australia's. Despite the loss of top players, Australia have been the best batting side in ODIs in India since 2008.

Australia v India in ODIs in India since 2000
Team Period Matches W/L ratio Runs per wicket(batting) Run rate
Australia 2000-2007 15 2.20 42.48 5.73
India 2000-2007 15 0.45 29.88 5.22
Australia 2008 onwards 9 1.33 41.75 5.40
India 2008 onwards 9 0.75 35.31 5.58

Indian batting far more threatening
India's top three have been in top form in the World Cup, averaging more than 50 with a strike rate over 102. Australia's top three batsmen have been less successful with an average of 43.06 and strike rate around 80. Ricky Ponting, one of only four batsmen to score over 2000 runs against India in ODIs, has had an especially poor run of form. In ODIs since 2009, India's top order has been far more impressive than Australia's with a better average and strike rate. Australia will be concerned about the inability of the top-order batsmen to convert their half-centuries into hundreds. They have had six fifties in the World Cup so far but not a single century.

The middle order performance of both teams is more evenly balanced. Australian middle-order batsmen average slightly higher but score at a lower rate than India's middle order. India have again been better at converting fifties into centuries. In the 2011 World Cup however, Australia's middle order has done much better: they average nearly 40 with a strike rate of 93 while India have corresponding figures of 34.60 and 85.90.

The batting stats of the two teams in the first 15 overs in the tournament so far reflect the performance of the top order. While India have been much better in terms of run rate, they have gone on to lose wickets more often than Australia, who have lost only two wickets in the same phase of the innings in all their matches. India have been the better team by a distance between overs 15 and 40. They average nearly 89 and score at 5.45 runs per over while Australia average just over 33 and score at 5.27. The end overs have been a huge problem for India. They have suffered collapses against England, South Africa and West Indies. The biggest reason for these collapses has been their inability to perform in the batting Powerplay. Teams have managed to pick up regular wickets against India during the batting Powerplay and restrict them.

Batting stats of teams in matches since 2009
Team Batting position Average Strike rate 100s 50s
Australia Top order (1-3) 38.06 80.85 13 55
India Top order (1-3) 42.40 92.81 18 38
Australia Middle order (4-8) 36.31 85.96 4 58
India Middle order (4-8) 35.36 86.58 13 35

Contrasting bowling attacks
Australia's decision to go into the tournament with a pace-heavy attack has been inspired by the fact that it has been a successful strategy for them in the last few years. While they have leaked a few runs in the first few overs of most matches, they have picked up wickets at regular intervals. The pace trio of Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait will be a huge threat for an Indian line-up which is far more adept at handling spin. The bowling stats clearly show that Australia's pace attack has been far more potent than India's in recent ODIs. India have relied on their spinners to provide the breakthroughs in most matches leading up to the tournament but in this World Cup, Zaheer Khan has been the most impressive of their bowlers. In the previous game against West Indies, India opened with R Ashwin and are likely to do the same against an Australian top order who generally find it easier to score off fast bowling.

Bowling stats for teams in ODIs since 2009
Team Bowler type Matches Wickets Average ER 4WI 5WI
Australia pace 77 453 27.71 4.87 12 8
India pace 69 247 34.79 5.71 7 0
Australia spin 77 106 36.27 4.86 3 0
India spin 69 205 36.24 4.95 3 2

Potent pace duo
Lee and Johnson have been two of the most successful bowlers against India in ODIs in the last few years. Lee, who has been superb in the tournament so far, has dismissed Tendulkar nine times in ODIs, the most by any bowler. Since 2000, he has picked up Tendulkar's wicket seven times while conceding just 4.17 runs per over. Despite Virender Sehwag scoring at nearly eight runs per over off Johnson, he has been dismissed four times while scoring a total of just 62 runs. The fast-bowling pair has been highly successful against Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni too. Sehwag, who has scored nearly 75% of his runs in boundaries, and Dhoni have been the only two Indian batsmen to score at more than five runs per over off the two bowlers.

Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson against Indian batsmen
Batsman Dismissals Average Scoring rate Boundary %
Sachin Tendulkar 10 34.90 4.48 60.17
Virender Sehwag 7 20.00 5.71 74.28
Gautam Gambhir 7 15.00 3.98 38.09
Yuvraj Singh 6 17.16 3.86 44.66
MS Dhoni 7 21.85 5.15 49.67

Australia and New Zealand notched up comfortable wins over Zimbabwe in the two matches played in Ahmedabad in the World Cup so far. The track has generally been an excellent one for batting but has assisted spinners later on. Four scores over 270 have been chased successfully at this venue. In the last match played at the venue before the World Cup, South Africa piled up a massive 365 and beat India by 90 runs. Teams batting first in day-night games since 2000 in Ahmedabad have won four and lost five matches. India do not have a great record in Ahmedabad having lost their last four games played at the venue.


Comments: 21 
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Posted by NP_NY on (March 25, 2011, 3:30 GMT)

@Adeel: India has been the better team in the tournament simply because they have the same points as Australia but played in a much tougher group. All three minnow teams in India's group were stronger than the ones in Aus's group. Anyway, the best way to judge was a direct contest between the two sides, and I guess Madhusudan was right and you were wrong! @Salman, I want you to predict again that India will lose to Pakistan. :-).

Posted by prozak on (March 24, 2011, 10:50 GMT)

statistics like these are absolutely meaningless.

Like most of the top 4 or 5 ODI sides the best team on the day will win. No one is totally invincible or totally fallable regardless of what statistics say

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (March 24, 2011, 9:39 GMT)

Aussies easily score 250 + and India will struggle in the second innings.

Posted by sigirisetti on (March 24, 2011, 8:32 GMT)

Confidence and a bit of luck on the day will bring the difference! My heart says India and my brain says Australia. I hope Indians play hard today.

Aus - 2, India - 1

Posted by SyedMohammadAli on (March 24, 2011, 8:23 GMT)

Batting first or send, doesn't matter, If Australia took 3 top wickets on India in first 10 overs. They are through...

Posted by Sun_Halifax on (March 24, 2011, 8:15 GMT)

@adeel India finished 2nd in their group and australia 3rd in thier group. Net Run rates doesnt count because they both play in different groups

Posted by dummy4fb on (March 24, 2011, 7:39 GMT)

I am Fan of Tendulkar... but for Indians they have one Problem they do not play very well when batting 2nd... just look at how they chased against Ireland and Netharland...only the Team which play well win the todays match...

Posted by taemoorkhan on (March 24, 2011, 6:29 GMT)

aus will win.. they are a better team.

Posted by blondblackberry on (March 24, 2011, 5:33 GMT)

india have the best batting line up don't even question that but, aussies have the best pace bowling lineup. it is the classic clash between bat and ball today.let's see who wins!

Posted by dummy4fb on (March 24, 2011, 5:18 GMT)

If you see the way we have won the matches in the WC, you wont find a single win which is single sided. We have struggled for each win. Whereas Aussies and pakistan are more deserving. I say deserving team should win. Now you all decide whether India is a deserving team (leave sachin apart he is the only candidate deserving).

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