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Stats Analysis

A century of Tests: Advantage Australia, but India catching up

Before 2001, Australia had a 28-11 lead, but since then India have won 17 and lost only 15 Tests against Australia

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
The Indian players greet Australia's players at the end of the game, Australia vs India, 1st Test, Adelaide, 3rd day, December 19, 2020

Before 2001, Australia had a 28-11 lead, but since then India have won 17 and lost only 15  •  David Mariuz/Associated Press

The Australia-India Test matches have been among the most intense match-ups in the last few years, and on Boxing Day, the rivalry will achieve a significant milestone: it will be the 100th Test between the two teams, and the 50th in Australia.
This will be the seventh rivalry to hit the century mark; Australia and England have obviously played each other the most often - in fact, they have played more than twice as many matches as any other pair of teams. Australia have also played 100-plus Tests against West Indies, while for India it is their second entry into this club: they have also played 100-plus Tests against England.
Australia have a significant overall advantage, 43 wins to 28 defeats. Among the three teams against whom they have played 100-plus Tests, their win-loss ratio against India (1.54) sits in the middle - it is better than their ratio of 1.33 against England, but not quite as good as their record of 1.81 against West Indies. Among these seven rivalries with 100-plus Tests, the most lopsided is the one between England and New Zealand - England have won 48 out of 105, and lost only 11.
As you would expect, both Australia and India have been dominant at home, but Australia have been exceptionally strong on home turf against India, winning 30 Tests and losing just seven. India have won 21 and lost 13 at home.
The Australia-India Test journey started 73 years ago, on November 28, 1947, when Brisbane hosted the first game of a five-Test series. Australia trounced the visitors by an innings and 226 - India's match tally of 156 over two innings fell 29 short of Don Bradman's 185 - but India improved as the series went along, though they lost 4-0. Vijay Hazare and Vinoo Mankad struck a couple of hundreds each, while Dattu Phadkar struck one and averaged 52.33. India's first win came in 1959 in Kanpur, in the tenth Test between the two teams. That was thanks largely to Jasu Patel's incredible match haul of 14 for 124.
Australia were utterly dominant in the first 20 Tests, winning 13 and losing just two. Since then, Australia have only stretched that advantage of 11 to 15. In fact, since 2001, India have had the edge, with a 17-15 record. Both have been equally dominant at home over the last 20 years: Australia have an 11-4 record in 21 Tests in Australia, while India have won 13 and lost four in 21.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats