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
Related Links

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 
. Your ESPN name '' will be used to display your comments. Please click here to edit this.
Comments have now been closed for this article

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).

Posted by dummy4fb on (March 24, 2011, 3:49 GMT)

best battle in quarter finals.....

Posted by Vibrant_Patel on (March 24, 2011, 1:28 GMT)

Only Lee & Johnson can win today's match for Aus... if they were not fire... Ind will win it easily..!! Aus Batsmen don't look comfortable in this WC.. so, If Ind play good against these 2, Aus will suffer a lot...!!

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (March 24, 2011, 0:10 GMT)

Shaun Tait is part of the pace trio too, and has been just as good too - with 10 wickets in this tournament at a very good rate. I am crossing fingers that Hastings plays ahead of Krezja (VERY important) and David Hussey ahead of Cameron White (fairly important). I think that if Australia does that, they should win. But if not, I don't know.

Posted by dummy4fb on (March 23, 2011, 20:22 GMT)

India will loose! Surely!!.

Posted by dummy4fb on (March 23, 2011, 20:03 GMT)

"While India have been the better team in the tournament so far" ..... LOL how exactly !?!

Australia 6 4 1 0 1 9 +1.123 India 6 4 1 1 0 9 +0.900

If we do not consider anything else the above table alone contradicts your claim leaving aside the 338 runs England chased. Both teams are sitting on 9 only because Australia's washed out match against SL, which they could've won as SL weren't going gr8 when the match ended!

Its god to be patriotic but one should look @ facts before making (dont want to say stupid) claims! IF you are saying just because 2 Indians have scored more than 300 runs in the tournament than they are even better than SA & specially Pakistan who obviously do not have a single player with a score of even 250 plus and England is the best side as they have 2 of the top 3 highest scorers in this tournament ...

This is not a hate msg but just my 2 cents of what I think is right!!

Posted by dummy4fb on (March 23, 2011, 19:25 GMT)

When we expect too much from India, they would lose and leave us in great disappointment. India have always put a halt for Australian's chain records, therefore tomorrow it will be the end of Australia's world cup chain! Next mission is to stop pakistan progressing towards winning the cup!! Sachin got to work continuously

Posted by FaheemAhmed on (March 23, 2011, 17:02 GMT)

No matter aussies has a 7-2 head to head record against indians in WCs, remember before today Windies also had a great head to head record of 6-2 against Pakistan, everyone saw how pakistan throws them out from WC.

Posted by Vibrant_Patel on (March 23, 2011, 16:38 GMT)

Good Luck.. INDIA..!! If Sehwag play, then Ind will WIN, otherwise their chances will be half...!!

Posted by dummy4fb on (March 23, 2011, 15:55 GMT)

In 14 ODIs against India in India since 2007, Australia have won eight and lost five?? that will give Australia edge by the way ? beofre post this kind of article just think twice buddy. if you want india to win its okie mentioned it but not like this totally not agreed

Posted by dummy4fb on (March 23, 2011, 15:51 GMT)

In-form batting gives India advantage ??????? Heading is totally wrong according to the details mentioned.??? what a joke

Posted by sskris1 on (March 23, 2011, 15:41 GMT)

Come tomorrow, all these statistics mean nothing. We Indians like to live in the glories of past and I hope the Indian team brings their A-game tomorrow. As much as I want India to win and set a grand semi-finale against PAK, I give the edge to Auistralia as they are more complete side than we are. Their bowling, fielding is top notch and we all know how much Pointing and Hussey like to score against india. Irrespective of what happens, we might be seeing tha last of two great batsman of our era in Pointing and Sachin. I would like to see both of them score centuries. Thanks you Pointing and Sachin for wonderful entertainment and great batsmanship. Go india

Email Feedback Print

    Should India be playing a series in West Indies right now?

Five days after the Champions Trophy - where's the context? Cyrus Broacha, Shaun Tait, Ajit Agarkar and ESPNcricinfo staffers debate

Can you ace our women's cricket quiz?

Which current World Cup captain played basketball in the Olympics? And which Flight Lieutenant also bowls with the new ball?

    The matriarch of England women's evolution

Now in her eighties, Norma Izard is a living testimony to the pioneering breed of women's cricketer who helped elevate the sport to today's levels. By Raf Nicholson

    The boundary-rider effect

Numbers Game: Has the extra outfielder affected scoring rates in the last ten overs of ODIs?

News | Features Last 3 days

Live analysis - India v Pakistan

Will a billion people watch the Champions Trophy final?

The India-Pakistan final could be the third-most watched game in cricket history

Fly, Pakistan, fly

This was one of the greatest comebacks in the history of cricket - against the best the world had, in four straight knockout games

'Batsmen win you games, bowlers win you tournaments'

Bowling coach Azhar Mahmood talks about the transformation of Pakistan's pace attack, a key factor in their road to the Champions Trophy final

Champions Trophy XI: Captain Sarfraz pips Kohli, Tamim in at No. 3

India and Pakistan's best performers occupy seven of the eleven slots, while Kane Williamson is the only one from outside the semi-finalists

News | Features Last 3 days

World Cup Videos