By: Shubham Ghosh
India-Australia rivalry on the 22 yards has been one of the game’s most captivating contests. The Baggy Greens are set to play the Asian powerhouse in a four-match Test series and three-match one-day international (ODI) series starting February 9 and here we look at some key numbers in the long format.
Australia and India are currently ranked first and second, respectively, in the International Cricket Council’s Test team list and the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 cycle.
The first match will be played in Nagpur between February 9 and 13.
The two sides have faced each other in 50 Test matches in 12 series between 1947-48 and 1991-92 after which the trophy was named after two legendary batters from each country – Allan Border and Sunil Gavaskar. They first played for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in a one-off Test in India in 1996 which India won under the captaincy of Sachin Tendulkar.
The Asian side is the current holder of the trophy, thanks to its series victory Down Under in 2020-21. It was India’s second consecutive series victory in Australia in Tests after 2018-19.
The hosts have named a strong squad for the upcoming series as they aim to become the first team to win four consecutive Test series against Australia.
India will be led by Rohit Sharma while Pat Cummins will be in charge of Australia.
The two squads for the upcoming series are:
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vc), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Suryakumar Yadav.
Australia: Pat Cummins (captain), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.
India and Australia have locked horns in 27 Test series since their maiden meeting in 1947-48 when Lala Amarnath led the Asian side against the iconic Don Bradman’s Australian team. Australia have won 12 of those series while India won 10. Five series have ended undecided.
At home, India have played Australia in 14 Test series and won eight out of them and lost four. Two were drawn.
After the Border-Gavaskar Trophy came into existence, Australia have beaten India in India in a Test series only once and it was a 2-1 victory in 2004-05 under the captaincy of stand-in captain Adam Gilchrist.
India have won the last three Test series played against Australia: at home in 2016-17, and away in 2018-19 and 2020-21.
India v Australia – Head to Head
Won by India: 30
Won by Australia: 43
Australia are at the top of the current ICC World Test Championship standings with a points percentage of 75.56, and are favourites to book a spot in the WTC Final to be played at The Oval, England, later this year.
India are placed second with 58.93 percentage points, closely followed by Sri Lanka on 53.33 and South Africa at the fourth position on 48.72.
India ideally need to avoid a series defeat against Australia and will have to rely on New Zealand to beat Sri Lanka in their two-match series in March to reappear in the WTC final after 2021.
A 4-0 series win would help India attain a points percentage of 68.06, which is likely to be adequate for a top-two finish in the WTC standings.
First Test: February 9-13
Second Test: February 17-21
Third Test: March 1-5
Fourth Test: March 9-13
First ODI: March 17
Second ODI: March 19
Third ODI: March 22