When the Indian cricket team, led by the illustrious Rohit Sharma, takes the field for its high-stakes World Cup opener against Australia, the weight of a billion expectations will hang palpably in the air. Under the affable leadership of Pat Cummins, Australia field a formidable team, ready to engage in fierce competition at Chepauk Stadium. This iconic venue has witnessed numerous memorable battles between these cricketing giants, including the legendary drawn Test of 1986, the closely-fought Reliance Cup match the following year and the decisive Test series match in 2001.
While India boasts world-class batting prowess, Australia’s pace attack is among the best in the world. However, the question hanging over Australia’s campaign is whether their pace will be able to withstand the stifling heat of Chennai.
For India, at the helm is a 36-year-old captain who understands that his legacy depends on whether he lifts the coveted Cup on November 19. Along with him, Virat Kohli, almost 35 years old, is undoubtedly one of the best batsmen of his generation in all formats. He is just three centuries away from surpassing the iconic Sachin Tendulkar, the same man who carried him on his shoulders during a memorable night at the Wankhede Stadium 12 summers ago.
As India and Australia prepare to renew their historic rivalry on the battlefield of cricket, fans around the world are eagerly awaiting the drama, spectacle and moments that only a World Cup can provide. We take a look at some of the key statistics ahead of the match:
OVERALL HEAD-TO-FACE RECORD:
India victory: 56
Australia victory: 83
No result: 10
WORLD CUP HEAD-TO-FACE RECORD:
India victory: 4
Australia victory: 8
No result: 0
LAST 5 MEETINGS:
India and Australia have met in two bilateral series this year, both in India. In the first, the Australians, under the captaincy of Steve Smith, recorded a 2-1 victory, with Australia winning the last two ODIs. In the second series that took place just before the World Cup, India put up a formidable outing despite the absence of star players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya among others, registering a 2-1 win. Australia, however, leads with a 3-2 record over India in the last five matches.
India – L, W, W, W, L (last five ODI matches completed)
Australia – G, L, L, L, L (last five ODI matches completed)
Did you know?
The MA Chidambaram Stadium has witnessed seven memorable encounters in the premier cricket tournament. Among them, Australia has appeared three times and emerged victorious each time. In 1987, they prevailed over India in a thrilling group stage contest, claiming a one-run victory, and then comfortably defeated Zimbabwe by 96 runs. In the 1996 edition, Australia chased down 287 to beat New Zealand in a quarter-final clash.
India, on the other hand, have only played one other World Cup match at Chepauk, apart from the 1987 loss to Australia. During their triumphant 2011 World Cup campaign, they defeated the West Indies by a convincing margin of 80 runs at this stadium.