With an eye on registering their first-ever Test series win in Australia, India is all set to renew their fierce rivalry with the team from Down Under in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar series.
Adelaide opens the Test summer against India on December 6 in a blockbuster Border-Gavaskar Trophy series. The Perth Stadium will host its first Test match when India visit for the second Border-Gavaskar match, before the series moves back to Melbourne and Sydney for the traditional Boxing Day and New Year’s games respectively.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 2, 2018
Going by current form, India will be the favourites to win the series. While India, barring the loss in England and South Africa, have looked unstoppable in Tests, Australian cricket is going through a turmoil. Australia will be without two of their batting mainstays – David Warner and Steve Smith. Both the players along with rookie Cameron Bancroft are currently serving the ban imposed on them for the ball-tampering scandal.
Ever since the scandal, Australia’s performance has only deteriorated. They where whitewashed by England in ODIs, lost the T20I tri-series to final before losing to Pakistan again in Tests and T20Is. Recently, they lost to South Africa in ODIs and T20I at home.
However, as far as the history is concerned, Australia is well on top. In previous 11 visits to Australia, India have never managed to win a series Down Under. In fact, they have managed to win just 5 of the 44 Tests they have played in Australia.
To make matters worse, India’s record in Adelaide, the venue for the series-opener is not promising either. A good start to the series can pave the way for the rest of the summer. However, India will have to defy the odds to win the opener. The last time they played at Adelaide, they lost their last 8 wickets for just 73 runs to lose the game by 48 runs.
In that game, Nathan Lyon was the destructor-in-chief, picking up seven wickets in India’s second innings, 12 in the match, to help Australia take a 1-0 lead in the series.
The Australia spin spearhead enjoys great success against Indian batting mainstays. So far, he has dismissed Pujara seven times, Rahane six times and Kohli on no fewer than five occasions. Lyon has 30 wickets to his name against India at home. In fact, Lyon’s record at Adelaide Oval is better than any other venue Down Under. He has 37 wickets from just seven matches (fifth highest overall at the venue) and has never gone wicket less in a Test Innings.