Chance for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Team India to Turn Around Woeful One-Day International Record in Australia
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team embark on a second tour to Australia after one year and this gives them a chance to turn around their woeful record in Australia.
- Siddharth Vishwanathan
- Updated: December 28, 2015 05:27 PM IST
India embark on their second tour to Australia in less than a year. In their previous tour in 2014/15, they spent five months in the country where they played four Tests, a tri-series involving England and also the World Cup where they were knocked out by Australia in the semi-final. (Australia in Transition Have a Battle on Their Hands Against Ever-Improving Indians)
The common theme in that tour was India failing to secure a single win against Australia across all the formats. Be it the Test series which they lost 0-2, the tri-series in which they lost all matches and then the World Cup semi-final, India consistently failed to get across the line against Australia. (Dhoni's Best Chance to Win a Series Down Under)
Their failures on the previous tour sum up, in a nutshell, their performances overall in Australia. In 43 matches played against Australia since 1980, India have managed only 10 wins at a win-loss ratio of 0.322, which is their second-worst win-loss ratio in ODIs.
In their last 10 games, they have lost six and won three with one game washed out in Sydney. (India in Australia: Top 10 Memorable Contests)
With records and history against them, it will be a tall order for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team to turn it around. Their recent ODI fortunes have taken a dip. Having lost their first bilateral series to Bangladesh and their first home series to South Africa in recent times, the onus is on Dhoni to turn it around.
However, if there is an ideal place for Dhoni to reverse their declining fortunes, it is in Australia. One will remember the exploits of 2008 in the Commonwealth Bank tri-series.
After being on the receiving end for most of the league games, Dhoni and his men sprung to life in the finals where they played with discipline to win in Sydney and Brisbane. The performances in those finals displayed that when everything falls into place for India, then they can overcome the conditions.
Eight years down the road, the situation is similar. India are experiencing a dip in their ODI fortunes but they will be heading into the series with some confidence. The recent Test series victories over Sri Lanka and South Africa under Virat Kohli will ensure that they head into the series in the right frame of mind.
It is also worth noting that Australia are a team in transition. Mitchell Johnson and Michael Clarke have retired but the biggest blow for Australia will be the unavailability of Mitchell Starc, who was ruled out of the entire summer due to a stress fracture on his foot.
Starc was the difference in the limited overs leg during the 2014/15 season. His 6/43 against India combined swing and pace with accuracy, something that this current Australian squad probably lacks.
Starc's exploits and Johnson's experience covered over the inexperienced underbelly of the Australian bowling during the 2015 season.
With Starc injured and the rest of the bowling sporting an inexperienced look, this is the best chance for India to turn their woeful ODI record and register their first bilateral series win against Australia in Australia. The time is ripe for Dhoni to engineer a turnaround.