Three underrated thrillers between India and Australia in ODIs
Perennial foes, India and Australia have a long history in One Day International cricket. We have seen some extraordinary matches between the two, most memorably a one-run win for Australia in 1987 against a Kapil Dev-led Indian side in the World Cup. But there are also some incredible matches that have flown under the radar and don't always get the attention they deserve. Listing out a few of them here.
2013, Jaipur - Australia win by 4 wickets and 3 balls to spare
James Faulkner's dream and Ishant Sharma's nightmare perhaps describes this game best. At Mohali, Australia were set a target of 304 after MS Dhoni's 139 in 122 balls. Australia were in the run-chase until Adam Voges (76) and George Bailey (43) were at the crease. At 213/6 in the 42nd over, Australia had lost track of the chase. In the final three overs, Australia needed 44 to win with a well-set James Faulkner at the crease. The target still seemed too far away but Faulkner dug into Ishant Sharma's very ordinary bowling in the 48th over. The over went thus: 4,6,6,2,6,6. 30 runs came off it as Australia's target went from 44 off 18 to 14 off 12 balls. They scraped through for a win, leaving Ishant and India in tatters.
2009, Hyderabad - Australia win by 3 runs
This high-scoring thriller in Hyderabad in 2009 is most remembered for Sachin Tendulkar's brilliant 175. Batting first, Australia were driven by a maiden ODI ton from Shaun Marsh (112) and a 93 from opening partner Shane Watson. The two put on a 145-run opening stand that laid the foundation for the likes of Ricky Ponting, Cameron White and Michael Hussey to power Australia to a whopping total of 350. India had never chased a bigger total at the time but with Sachin Tendulkar leading the way, they seemed well in the game. Suresh Raina (59) offered good support and India seemed well on course at one stage. But with victory at their doorstep, India lost Tendulkar. Two run-outs followed and Australia sneaked in a win.
Mumbai, 2007 - India win by two wickets
In one sentence, this was Murali Kartik's game. Australia had won the bilateral series already but weren't in for this shocker from Murali Kartik, who ran through their batting line-up to claim figures of 6-27 from his 10 overs. Kartik destroyed any hopes of an Aussie resurrection after two early wickets by snaring four wickets in 15 balls in his second spell.
But Australia made a tremendous comeback with the ball and pushed India to 143/8, who were chasing 194. At this time, the hosts seemed well out of the game. However, an unbeaten 52-run ninth-wicket stand followed between Zaheer Khan and Murali Karthik and India won with four overs to spare.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Paul Ellis