India tour of Australia: How the Aussies have kept the Men in Blue silent in ODIs?
Australia and India have tussled it out in quite a few ODI series of late. Since the beginning of 2019, there have been three bilateral ODI series between these teams aside from the World Cup encounter last year. India have been a dominant force in this period in the format, but Australia have had success against them, registering the joint-most wins - five in 12 games - in this time frame against them. So ahead of India vs Australia 2020 ODI series, we look at how the Aussie have cracked India's ODI formula?
Big runs and individual hundreds at the top
The Aussies haven't let India get early wickets in ODIs. Their top three average 47.96 during the aforementioned period against India - which is the second-best after England for teams with at least 2 games - with as many as five hundreds recorded by top three batsmen, the most by any team against India in this format in this time frame. Usman Khawaja, who missed out on India vs Australia 2020 ODI squad, has recorded two centuries while Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steven Smith and Peter Handscomb (albeit from down the order) have one each. The Aussie top three has also registered eight half-centuries against India, once again the most by any team in this period.
Keeping Jasprit Bumrah quiet
Jasprit Bumrah is an integral part of India's ODI plans with his ability to take powerplay wickets and destroy teams in the death. But Australia have had relatively good success against Bumrah. The India pacer has taken 11 wickets in 9 matches against them in the period after 2018, but averages 38.63 and concedes at over five runs per over, one of the only two teams against whom he conceded as much in ODIs in this time. In four of these nine matches, Bumrah has gone at over six runs per over.
Keeping spinners at bay
India's success formula in ODIs is built on their spinners doing well in the middle overs and keeping teams silent while taking wickets. Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav have been pivotal on this front. Australia, though, have been terrific against India's spinners. Kuldeep averages 43.93 while Jadeja averages 53.66 in this period against Australia. Chahal has played less (just three matches) and took a six-wicket haul in one. But overall, he has been attacked and goes at over six runs per over against Australia since 2018.
Using spin well
While Australia's pacers have been handy against India's batsmen, an x-factor for them has been their spinner, Adam Zampa. The leg-spinner is the second-highest wicket-taker in this period in Australia vs India ODIs with 16 wickets at an average of 32.18. He has also leaked runs at a rate of just over five runs per over but is a genuine wicket-taker against top-order batsmen. This is indicated by his success against Virat Kohli with the spinner dismissing the Indian skipper the most number of times by any spinner in ODIs.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Manjunath Kiran