SERIES INFORMATION AND PREVIEW
The time has come for India to embark on a journey to Australia to be a part of Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2018/19. India tours down under have given so many timeless moments in the past and we sure hope for some more this time.
The 2-month long tour, starting on 21st November 2018, will feature 3 T20Is, 4 Tests and then 3 ODIs. The tour ends with the last ODI at Melbourne on 18 January 2019. The matches will be played across 5 venues - Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and, Perth.
India last played in Australia way back in Jan-2016 when they lost the ODI series 4-1, however, whitewashed Australia in the T20I series winning all three matches. Tests were not part of that series.
The last Test series was in 2014/15 when Dhoni was still the captain of the Indian Test team, although he retired in that series after the third Test. That was also the beginning of the Kohli era as a player - with 4 centuries to his name - and as a captain who wants to win the Test matches and is ready to lose a few in the process.
The Indian team has come a long way since then to establish themselves as a team to beat in Tests whereas Australia lost their prime Tests batmen in Smith and Warner in the ball-tampering row which has resulted in diminished performances across the formats.
WED - 21 Nov 2018 - 01:20 PM IST - 1st T20I, (D/N) at Brisbane
FRI - 23 Nov 2018 - 01:20 PM IST - 2nd T20I, (N) at Melbourne
SUN - 25 Nov 2018 - 01:20 PM IST - 3rd T20I, (N) at Sydney
THU - 6 Dec 2018 - 05:30 AM IST - 1st Test, at Adelaide
FRI - 14 Dec 2018 - 07:50 AM IST - 2nd Test, at Perth
WED - 26 Dec 2018 - 05:00 AM IST - 3rd Test, at Melbourne
THU - 3 Jan 2018 - 05:00 AM IST - 4th Test, at Sydney
SAT - 12 Jan 2018 - 07:50 AM IST - 1st ODI, (D/N) at Sydney
TUE - 15 Jan 2018 - 08:50 AM IST - 2nd ODI, (D/N) at Adelaide
FRI - 18 Jan 2018 - 07:50 AM IST - 3rd ODI, (D/N) at Melbourne
TEAM FORM AND PREDICTIONS
India currently leads the Test rankings and are at the 2nd rank in ODI and T20I rankings. Australia, on the other hand, are going through their worst ranking in years - 5th in Tests, 6th in ODIs and 3rd in T20Is.
In Tests, Australia are in a downward spiral since the Ashes in 2017. They lost to South Africa 1-3 in that infamous series where Smith, Warner, and Bancroft were handed suspension in the ball-tampering row. They added new players to the team for Pakistan tour, but they lost it 1-0 after the heroic effort from Khawaja and captain Tim Paine to save the first Test.
India, on the back of a long home season and a couple of away series wins against Sri Lanka and West Indies in last two years, are at the top of the Test rankings. They still have a lot to prove in Australia, England, and South Africa for a top-ranked team.
In ODIs, Australia suffered their worst losing streak ever when they lost 7 consecutive ODIs this year in a row. They lost two home ODI series at home this year – the 1-4 crushing by England and the 1-2 drubbing by South Africa. Before this, it was back in 2010 that they lost an ODI series at home. Contrary to that, In the last 3 years, India have won 67% of the matches and that number increases slightly to 70% this year. Also, India have 2 batsmen in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma featuring in top 5 players in ICC rankings.
In T20Is, Aussies recently had a winless series in the UAE against Pakistan where they lost all 3 matches and overall, they have won 53% matches in last 3 years. India, on the other hand, have won 75% of their T20I matches in the last 3 years.
Australia looks an unsettled side in all formats and it would be a really difficult task for them to beat India in the limited overs cricket despite playing at home.
We must remember however that India have never won a Test series in Australia. The last time they drew a series in Australia was back in 2003. But if there ever was a chance for India to make amends to those stats, it is now. India must be itching to rectify the errors - in the away series losses to South Africa and England this year - against Australia who are not an unbeatable side anymore; at home or otherwise.
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