The Battle Down Under: Preview Indian Camp

Posted: December 25, 2011 by The CouchExpert in Cricket, India in Australia 2011-12
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Goutham Chakravarthi

Numbers

India have more than held their own against Australia since 1995 when Australia became the numero uno side in the world. Since then, India is the only team with a positive Win/Loss ratio of 1.2 (12 wins, 10 losses in 28 matches) against Australia among all Test nations with England a distant second with a Win/Loss ratio of 0.56 (13 wins, 23 losses in 44 matches). India has not only played on equal terms over these years, but are the only team to have consistently competed with Australia through the last 17 years, both home and away.

Team Matches Won Lost Tied Draw W/L Ratio
England 44 13 23 0 8 0.56
India 28 12 10 0 6 1.2
South Africa 26 6 17 0 3 0.35
West Indies 31 6 22 0 3 0.27
Pakistan 20 2 16 0 2 0.12
New Zealand 20 1 14 0 5 0.07
Sri Lanka 16 1 10 0 5 0.1
Bangladesh 4 0 4 0 0 0
Zimbabwe 3 0 3 0 0 0

Table: All teams vs Australia (home and away) since 1 January 1995

Stats can only tell you so much. In this case, it quite clearly tells you that India have done well over Australia in this time. But only 2 of those 12 victories have come in Australia (2 wins, 6 losses in 11 matches) giving India a W/L ratio of 0.33 behind England whose W/L ratio stands at 0.42 (6 wins, 14 losses in 23 matches with 3 of those victories coming in the last series).  Restricting the performance in Australia to the last 11 years, you see that India have competed almost on an even keel with a W/L ratio of 0.66 (2 wins, 3 losses in 8 matches), with England second best with 0.4 (4 wins, 10 losses in 15 matches)

Team

Matches

Won

Lost

Tied

Draw

W/L Ratio

England

15

4

10

0

1

0.4

India

8

2

3

0

3

0.66

South Africa

9

2

6

0

1

0.33

New Zealand

9

1

5

0

3

0.2

Bangladesh

2

0

2

0

0

0

Pakistan

6

0

6

0

0

0

Sri Lanka

4

0

3

0

1

0

West Indies

7

0

6

0

1

0

Zimbabwe

2

0

2

0

0

0

Table: Teams in Australia since 1 January 2001

Indians have also racked up the highest score (705/7 dec) in this period and their team scores more runs per wicket (37.07), almost 5.25 runs more than the next best team, England (31.85).

Battle of the weakness

Even taking into consideration India’s no show in England earlier in the year, its batting continues to be its strong suit. Stats above show that they have done well in Australia in the last 10 years, and, largely, its top performers over these years are still part of the team – Sehwag, Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid. This series proves to be the battle of the weakness that’ll largely determine the outcome of the series: India’s bowling vs. Australian batting.

Spicy wickets might give India its best chance of a series victory. ©AFP

India’s ability to take 20 wickets will determine how the series might pan out. So, green wickets might prove to India’s best chance of winning. Durban, Leeds, Perth and Cape Town victories were built on favourable bowling conditions. Indians will back their experienced batsmen to put one over the sporadic Australian batting should it boil down to that.

Favourites

Not since 1978 have India come into a series in Australia as favourites. This time they are favourites only slightly, but not overwhelmingly so. Australia’s depth in pace reserves gives it renewed optimism to put one across the very experienced Indian batting side. The freshness in the attack will also be the factor Indians will look to exploit. Sehwag’s first knock of the tour might be crucial for the outcome of the series. And should India keep the Australians on the field for a day and half, it might break the Australian backs pretty quickly.

Injuries

Injuries to bowlers might well decide the fate of the series. Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma are crucial to India’s chances and both come in to the series with dodgy ankles. Zaheer has some cricket under his belt, but it remains to be seen if he will last the course. Ishant’s fitness and form will be crucial given the impact he has playing Australia, especially Ponting and Clarke.

It is difficult to see Ishant and Zaheer playing all four tests. Spicy wickets and a fit Zaheer and Ishant are India’s best chance of winning this series.

Prediction

2-1 India

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Comments
  1. thecognitivenomad says:

    My predictions have been the worst thus far, therefore let me guess 1-1.

  2. Nagaraj Kura says:

    1-0 or 2-1 in india’s favour…Aus will not win the series.

  3. Gowtham , Hope your prediction will come true …. Waiting for 5 PM EST for the Boxing Day Test to start……

    • I believe we are winning the SCG Test of 2007-08 also. After prolonged debate over the last 4 years, Steve Bucknor turned up at Big Boss sets this evening and ruled Symonds out when Australia were 60 for 5, there by rendering his century void and the result is to be reversed in India’s favor. It is believed India would have won the Test by 9 wickets (chasing 11 for victory, India get there for the loss of Jaffer’s wicket!). So, 2007-08 series decided 2-1 in our favour!

  4. 3-0 defeat for India. Ponting and Hussey will be back and Cowan can be another star. Siddle will do the maximum damage. Indians should prove me wrong.

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