Which cricketers have the highest batting averages in Test cricket? Sir Donald Bradman (99.94), Adam Voges (61.87), Graeme Pollock (60.97), George Headley (60.83), and Herbert Sutcliffe (60.73) have the Top 5 highest Test batting averages in cricket.
Batting average has been the historic indicator of batting excellence in Test cricket over the years. Steve Smith is the only modern cricketer flirting with the 60 average and is currently at #6 with 59.76. Can he end up at #2 of all-time by the end of his career?
While we are discussing Steve Smith, here is the list of the Top 20 highest batting averages in Test cricket!
There are 7 England cricketers, 4 Australians & West Indians each, 2 from South African & New Zealand, 1 Sri Lankan rank in the Top 20 highest averages of all-time in Test cricket. No Indian or Pakistani batter make the Top 20 as of 2023.
Comparing different eras is usually an issue of debate while discussing batting averages. 7 batters in the pre-1950s era, 6 batters in the 1940s-70s, 6 in the modern era (1995-present), and 1 from pre-1900s made this list.
We did not apply any filters on the amount of Test matches played. Jacques Kallis (166) & Kumar Sangakkara (134) played the highest number of Test matches while maintaining the high average, while George Tyldesley (14) and Daryl Mitchell (20) are at the lower end. Steve Smith, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson, and Marnus Labuschagne are the only active cricketers in this list.
From the Fab 4, only Steve Smith (59.76) and Kane Williamson (54.89) are in the Top 20 of the highest batting averages in Test cricket. Joe Root (50.87) and Virat Kohli (48.72) are much further down the list. Overall, 17 cricketers average above 55.00 in Test cricket as of now.
List of Highest Test Batting Averages: From Don Bradman to Marnus Labuschagne
Can you name cricketers with the most test centuries? If you are struggling, don’t worry. We got you.
Test cricket is the most challenging format of the sport, and it takes great skill and determination to reach the pinnacle of batting performance. That’s why a century in Test cricket has become one of the most sought-after milestones for batters. In this post, we take a look at 25 cricketers who have scored the most Test centuries. From Sachin Tendulkar to Steve Smith, we’ll explore the career records of each and every cricketer who has achieved this extraordinary feat.
So, come join us and let’s dive into the fascinating world of cricketing greatness!
Sachin Tendulkar (51), Jacques Kallis (45), Ricky Ponting (41), Kumar Sangakkara (38), and Rahul Dravid (36) are the Top 5 batters with the most centuries in Test cricket.
Sachin Tendulkar (119), Jacques Kallis (103), Ricky Ponting (103), Rahul Dravid (99), and Shivnaire Chanderpaul (96) have the most 50+ scores in Test cricket.
Sir Donald Bradman (99.94), Steve Smith (60.22), Sir Garfield Sobers (57.78), Kumar Sangakkara (57.40), and Jacques Kallis (55.37) have the highest average for players on this list of most Test centuries.
Sir Donald Bradman (29 – 100s, 13 – 50s)/Younis Khan (34/33), Matthew Hayden (30/29), Michael Clarke (28/27), and Virat Kohli (28/28) have the best conversion rates from fifties to hundreds in Test matches.
Sachin Tendulkar (15921), Ricky Ponting (13378), Jacques Kallis (13289), Rahul Dravid (13288), and Alastair Cook (12472) have scored the most Test runs.
Australia (8), India (4), South Africa, West Indies (3), Sri Lanka, England, Pakistan (2), and New Zealand (1) have produced the most players on this elite list.
Only Steve Smith (32), Joe Root (30), Virat Kohli (28), Kane Williamson (28), and David Warner (25) are the remaining active players on this list.
There were some players that surprisingly missed out:
Notable Omissions: Mohammad Yousuf, Greg Chappell, Viv Richards (24) Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen, Justin Langer, Javid Miandad (23), AB De Villiers, Geoffrey Boycott, Mohammad Azharuddin, Colin Cowdrey, Ian Bell (22)
Test Cricket Batting Records: Top 25 List of Most Test Centuries
In this Top 25 list of cricketers with the most Test centuries, each cricketer has more than 25 Test hundreds to their name.
Note: To break ties, we went with the player with the most 50+ scores. In addition, players with * next to their names are still active in international cricket.
1. Sachin Tendulkar (51), India
Years Played: 1989-2013, Test Matches Played: 200
Total 50+ Scores: 119 (51 – 100s, 68 – 50s)
Runs Scored: 15921
Sachin Tendulkar stands at the top of the list with a whopping 51 Test centuries, establishing him as one of the greatest batsmen in cricket history.
Ricky Ponting is the all-time highest run scorer for Australia in Test cricket, and his 41 centuries have put him firmly at third on this list. Ponting’s career was marked by consistent runs, hundreds in various conditions, and captaincy glory.
Rahul Dravid, nicknamed ‘The Wall’, is one of the only few cricketers to have scored centuries in all 10 Test playing nations. His 36 centuries and 99 50+ scores make him one of the most prolific batsmen in history. Along with Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid formed a formidable partnership for India’s batting line up during the late 90s and early 2000s.
Mahela Jayawardene is the highest Test run scorer for Sri Lanka, with 11814 runs in 149 Tests. His batting style was known for its elegance and grace, and he will be remembered as one of the greats of Sri Lankan cricket.
Brian Lara is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in cricket history. He holds the record for the highest individual score in Test cricket (400*). His elegant stroke play set him apart from the rest of the pack.
Sunil Gavaskar is considered to be one of the best openers to have ever played cricket. His Test centuries scores speak volumes about his ability with the bat, and he holds the record for most Test centuries by an Indian batsman. He was known for his defensive technique and in a career spanning 16 years.
Younis Khan was a Pakistani batting icon and his 34 centuries speak volumes of his ability. He is the only player in the world to have scored centuries in 11 countries*, and he holds the record for most Test centuries by a Pakistani batsman. His attitude towards cricket made him an inspiration to many young players.
*since UAE/Pakistan both hosted home matches for Pakistan during his career
Sir Alastair Cook, one of the most successful English batsmen in history, has 33 Test centuries to his name. He holds several records for England’s batting performance, including most consecutive tests and most runs scored (until Joe Root takes over, of course). His success is due to his hard work and dedication, which have made him a true legend of the game.
Steve Smith is a modern-day batting legend, and his Test average around 60 (after almost 100 tests) is one of the highest among contemporary batsmen. His success has been due to his meticulous approach to the game and ability to dominate any bowling attack.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul was one of the most consistent and reliable batsmen for West Indies. His 96 50+ scores speak of his ability to bat long and dominate the bowlers, especially as a lower middle order batter.
Joe Root is the name that comes to mind when talking about England’s current batting lineup. He has been a consistent performer for England, and his dedication and commitment to improving as a player are admirable. His stellar 2021-22 season has definitely put him as one of greatest batsmen of our generation, if not all-time.
Matthew Hayden was a powerhouse of Australian cricket. He was known for his aggressive style of play and ability to dominate the bowlers in all conditions. His Test hundred conversion rate still stands tall in world cricket, and he will be remembered as one of Australia’s finest batsmen.
Virat Kohli is a modern-day batting great, and his ability to score runs at will has made him one of the most feared batsmen in world cricket. His aggressive style of play combined with his natural technique make him a force to be reckoned with, especially his exploits in Australia, South Africa, and a memorable comeback in England.
Probably the greatest batsman of all time, Sir Donald Bradman needs no introduction. His incredible average of nearly 100 is a testament to his legendary batting skills and ability to dominate any bowling attack in the world. He was one of the most feared batsmen of his era, and he will continue to inspire generations of cricketers for years to come.
Hashim Amla was one of South Africa’s most consistent batsmen, and his style of play has been a delight to watch. His ability to stay focused and grind out long innings made him an integral part of the Proteas’ batting line-up for many years.
Michael Clarke was one of Australia’s most successful captains, and his batting record speaks for itself. He was known for his calm approach to the game, and he had a knack for scoring big runs when it mattered the most. The way he batted in the double century filled 2012-13 season was just amazing to watch.
Kane Williamson is one of the best batsmen in the world, and his ability to build an innings from scratch and score big runs has made him a star. His calm demeanor and sound technique have enabled him to dominate in all conditions, making him one of the most respected cricketers of our time.
With Ross Taylor, he formed the core of a World Test Championship winning middle order.
Allan Border was known for being a gritty player with an eye for scoring big runs, and he was able to do so even on difficult pitches. His contribution to Australia’s success in the 1980s and 1990s cannot be understated.
Graeme Smith was known for his fearless batting, and he led the South African team with bravery and determination. He was able to stay at the crease for long periods of time and score big runs in difficult conditions, making him one of the greatest opening batsmen in history.
Sir Garfield Sobers is widely regarded as one of the greatest all-round cricketers in history. His talent and skill with both bat and ball have rarely been matched, and his ability to control a match with his batting was remarkable. He will forever be remembered for his incredible achievements on the cricket field.
Inzamam Ul-Haq was one of Pakistan’s most consistent batsmen, and he was able to score big runs when the team needed them. His ability to play with power and finesse made him a formidable opponent for any bowler. With Younis & Yousuf, Pakistan had a stable middle order that they had lacked earlier.
Final Thoughts on Test Crickets Greatest Centurions
Test cricket is a game of patience, skill and strategy, and several cricketers have been able to master it.
The players on this list are have scored the most test centuries in cricket history. This indicates the impact they had and the number of the games they changed. Each one has made an incredible contribution to the sport through their individual performances. Their feats will continue to be remembered for years to come as a testament to the sheer brilliance and dedication of these players. Test cricket will always be a game of heroes.
Most Test Centuries – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Who has the most centuries in Test Cricket?
Sachin Tendulkar (51), Jacques Kallis (45), Ricky Ponting (41), Kumar Sangakkara (38), Rahul Dravid (36), Mahela Jayawardene (34), Brian Lara (34), Sunil Gavaskar (34), Younis Khan (34), and Alastair Cook (33), are the Top 10 batters with most centuries in Test cricket.
2. Who has scored the most double centuries in Test cricket?
Sir Donald Bradman (12), Kumar Sangakkara (11), Brian Lara (9), Wally Hammond (7), Virat Kohli (7), and Mahela Jayawardene have scored the most Test double centuries.
3. Who has scored the most Test centuries in a calendar year?
Mohammad Yousuf (9, 2006), Ricky Ponting (7, 2006), Sir Vivian Richards (7, 1976), Aravinda de Silva (7, 1997), and Sachin Tendulkar (7, 2010) scored the most Test centuries in a calendar year.
4. Who has scored the most Test centuries for India?
Sachin Tendulkar (51), Rahul Dravid (36), Sunil Gavaskar (34), Virat Kohli (28), Virender Sehwag (23), Mohammad Azharuddin (22), Cheteshwar Pujara (19), Dilip Vengsarkar (17), VVS Laxman (17), and Sourav Ganguly (16) have scored the most Test hundreds for India.
5. Who has scored the most Test centuries for England?
Alastair Cook (33), Joe Root (29), Kevin Pietersen (23), Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey, Geoffrey Boycott, Ian Bell (22), Andrew Strauss (21), Ken Barrington, Graham Gooch (20), Len Hutton (19), Michael Vaughan, David Gower (18), and Denis Compton (17) scored the most Test hundreds for England.
6. Who has scored the most Test centuries for Australia?
Ricky Ponting (41), Steve Waugh (32), Steve Smith (30), Matthew Hayden (30), Sir Don Bradman (29), Michael Clarke (28), Allan Border (27), David Warner (25), Greg Chappell (24), Justin Langer (23), Neil Harvey, David Boon (21), Mark Waugh (20), Mike Hussey, Mark Taylor (19), and Adam Gilchrist (17) scored the most hundreds for Australia.
Toss: England won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, UAE
Umpires: Marais Erasmus & Nitin Menon
What Actually Happened
Winner: England won by 8 wickets
Scores: Australia 125/10 England 126/2
Player of the Match: Chris Jordan 3/17
Chris Jordan (4-0-17-3)
Ashton Agar (2.4-0-15-1)
Aaron Finch 44 (49)
Jos Buttler 71* (32)
Moments of The Day: Jos Buttler, All-Round Bowling Performance Ensures Easy English Victory
Morgan’s captaincy has been on point this World Cup. In the earlier games, he had used Moeen Ali up front against left handers. Against Australia, Adil Rashid (4-0-19-1) and Chris Woakes (4-0-23-2) were unleashed. At 21-4, the game was done and dusted.
Bad pitch theory was put to rest when the English openers came to bat. When Jason Roy had departed, England’s score was 66 in 6.2 overs. Buttler finished it with some magnificent straight sixes. An innings worth 71* (35).
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Australia in the Middle Muddle
This game was supposed to be the Ashes battle preview. Since the India-Pakistan match was one sided, a closer battle was expected. However, England brushed Australia aside with 74 balls to spare. The damaged NRR means that all teams are back in contention, even West Indies and Bangladesh, the two teams Australia have to face now.
Moments of The Day: Hasaranga’s Hat-Trick, Miller-Rabada’s Finishing Defines Close Game
Pathum Nissanka has been one of the most promising names in Sri Lanka’s domestic circuit, boasting a first class average of 64.45 & scoring his first ton within 4 Tests. With this 72, I am glad he has transferred his talent in T20Is.
Temba Bavuma has been under scrutiny ever since his Test debut and more so, since captaincy. His 46 (46) might not look inspiring, but in this World T20, each team needs a middle order batter that can grind it out. Also his leadership with the QDK saga has been brilliant. Supporting his teammate all the way, while standing up for the movement at the same time.
Let us talk about David Miller. In 2018 & 2020, he averaged 20.16 with 113.08 SR and 25.00 average at 120.48 SR respectively. He had a good 2019, which kept him in the team but he is flourishing this year – 46.50 at 148.80. This match with the World Cup on the line, he struck two of the cleanest sixes of the World Cup, with Rabada hitting the last 4 to give South Africa a close victory. Miller’s career phases- Killer Miller, Accumulator Miller, Gone Miller….and the Old Miller is back!
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Can SL Keep Playing the Same Brand of Cricket?
SL are one of the only countries playing a positive brand of Cricket regardless of the situation. The attitude helped them win 4 in 4, but with 2 consecutive losses including a close one here might dent their confidence. Can they continue in a similar fashion?
T20 World Cup Points Table, Stat Alert
No need to go elsewhere for the Points Table, Highest Run Scorer, Highest Wicket Taker, Most Catches, and Most Dismissals. We will keep updating it in every article!
Toss: Australia won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, UAE
Umpires: Aleem Dar & Richard Illingworth
What Actually Happened
Winner: Australia won by 7 wickets
Scores: Sri Lanka 154/6 – Australia 155/3
Player of the Match: Adam Zampa 2/12
Adam Zampa (4-0-12-2)
Wanindu Hasaranga (4-0-22-2)
Charith Asaslanka 35 (27), Kusal Perera 35 (25)
David Warner 65 (42)
Moments of The Day: Australia Has Woken Up
When Kusal Perera & Charith Asalanaka were batting, Sri Lanka could do no wrong. The pulls and straight sixes were a delight to watch. Sri Lanka’s promise was coming back.SL 78/1 in 9.3 overs.
Then came the duo of Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa. Within three overs, Sri Lanka collapsed to 94/5, including a beautiful yorker by Starc to Perera. Another good innings by Rajapaksa (33*) and support from captain Dasun Shanaka got SL to a decent 154/6.
However this was no challenge for Australia as the old horse returned. 70 run opening partnership (Finch 37) and Warner’s 65 silenced the critics. Also, who said Steve Smith cannot bat in T20s? He has been crucial in these low scoring chases recently.
Warner, Finch, Smith, Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood, Zampa all found form. Australia are smelling a World Cup semi-final spot. Beware of this team.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Sri Lanka Finally Lose
Sri Lanka’s journey in this World Cup has been pitch perfect. For the first hour, it seemed that the new style of their cricket would take them to a fifth victory. That was not to be, and now couple of crucial games follow due to this loss.
The Broken Dream of the Day – Kusal Perera’s dropped catch – Has to rank among the worst dropped catches of all time and let Warner back into the game.
India vs Australia Test Series — this is the moment that all cricket fans were waiting for this year.
Credit to England, cricket is back on track. Since the English summer, we have had the IPL and other leagues, and recently the truncated England vs South Africa and New Zealand vs West Indies series’. Yet, this is the moment that most cricket fans have been waiting for—the Australian Test summer—Boxing Day, New Year’s, and much more.
With the World Test Championship rules changed and the Kiwis sweeping their series against the Windies, India are in danger of losing the Top 2 spot. They defeated the Australians in 2018, but can they repeat their success?
Read till the end to check out our predictions. Let us know who you think will win in the COMMENTS below!
When and Where?
Here are the dates and the venue for the India Vs Australia Test Series.
India: Top Order Will Make or Break India’s Chances
India’s most famous recent tours of Australia had top order contributions. Sehwag-Chopra in 2003 & Agarwal-Vihari in 2018 (last two tests). More than number runs, denting the new ball mattered, which laid the platform for the likes of Dravid and Pujara later on.
Virat Kohli will be on paternity leave after the first test in Adelaide, a place where he has 3 hundreds in six innings including the twin 115-141 during that 2014 match. Can Virat continue his love affair with Adelaide?
Since his stellar overseas tours of 2014, Rahane has failed to go to the next level. Don’t get me wrong – 65 Tests, 4203 runs at 42.88 average with 11 tons and a best of 188 is still very good. Yet in order for Rahane to elevate to legendary status, he still needs a series like Pujara 2018 or a Laxman 281 kind of knock.
Australia: Injuries Give Australia a Headache
With injuries to Warner and Pucovski, Matthew Wade and Joe Burns have received the backing from the management. Joe Burns in the last 9 FC innings has scores of 7, 29, 0, 10, 11, 4, 0, 0, 1 – the last 4 against India A. Six years since his debut, he has yet to cement a place despite 4 centuries. Last chance for Joe?
Labuschagne is one of my favorite players from the recent crop. Ashes 2019 is best remember for Steve Smith’s (and Ben Stokes’) heroics, but Marnus has not looked back since his debut as a concussion substitute. 14 Tests, 1459 runs at an average of 63.43, and 4 tons already with best of 215.
India: India need 2nd Innings Shami In the First Innings
Shami has been bowling at his best since IPL 2020. In test cricket, he is known for his 2nd innings late spells with reverse swing. Can he deliver up front with early breakthroughs this time?
India’s weak link will be the 4th bowler. Umesh Yadav has delivered overseas in patches and Saini/Siraj are raw. Who will stand up in the absence of Ishant Sharma?
Ravichandran Ashwin’s overseas record is not the best and Kuldeep Yadav is waiting in the wings. He will need to make the most of his opportunities and take wickets, not just keep things tight.
Australia: Nathan Lyon The Key
Along with Ashwin, Nathan Lyon has kept the art of off-spin alive in the 2010s. 10 away from 400 wickets, a lot will rest on his shoulders.
Australia have won 6 out of 6 Day/Night matches, 3 of them at Adelaide. The key to all of those wins were their fast bowlers. If Starc and Hazlewood make the ball talk early, it would be tough for India to win in the pink ball test.
Australia may need to rest their fast bowlers given the long tour. Expect James Pattinson to play during the latter test matches.
Tim Paine vs Rishabh Pant: The banter was hilarious during 2014 via the stump mic. Watch out for more such encounters, as well as a couple of game changing knocks from both.
Pujara and Vihari vs Australian fast bowlers: These two have the potential to tire out the Australian bowling line up.
Cameron Green: This new young allrounder caught the eye of many in his ODI debut. Can bowl 140+ kph and already has 5 centuries in 21 FC games. If fit, he will definitely make an impact. Mark my words.
The Broken Dream
India: Ishant Sharma
Ishant just LOVES Australia. His debut series in 2008 is best remembered for outmatching the great Ricky Pontingand was the pillar of the bowling line up in 2018-19. How much will India miss Ishant? How much will Ishant miss cricket? Just 3 away from 300 Test wickets, but has not played a first class game since February before getting injured at the beginning of the IPL.
Australia: Will Pucovski
After breaking into the squad with wonderful domestic form, it was expected that Pucovski would make his debut. In just 23 first class games, he averages 54.5 with 6 hundreds and best of 255*. Concussion during the India A vs Australia A has unfortunately, delayed his Test debut.
Verdict: 1-1 Draw
Without the Sharmas, Kohli’s early departure, and India’s relatively inexperienced openers, this will not be as easy as 2018. Pujara’s 2018-19 tour was once in a generation, and I doubt it will be repeated (if he gets anywhere close to that form, India surely will be in the drivers seat).
The home team Australia are back with Smith and hopefully Warner later in the tour, but with numerous injuries, a long tour, and bio-bubble fatigue creeping in, Australia are not favorites either. Expect rest for fast bowlers from both teams in a few games.
This is a weird one to predict, isn’t it? Neither team holds an upper hand, but I am hoping for exciting, gritty series. Some attritional cricket, line and length bowling, and maybe even 5th day last session match-saving draws? Hence, I am going for a 1-1 draw.
Which team will give in first?
Let us know your thoughts on the India Vs Australia Test Series. WHAT IS YOUR EVENTUAL SCORELINE? COMMENT BELOW AND LET US KNOW!
My Starting XI:
These are my starting XI for the first Test (assuming everyone is available in terms of COVID and injuries).
India Vs Australia – a friendly evenly contested series.
India revived their 1992 jersey, and the tour started accordingly with twin defeats via the brilliance of Steven Smith. This tour will be remembered for the Australia media’s fascination for ‘King’ Kohli, international fielding of grade-school standards, emergence of Hardik Pandya, the Jadeja-Chahal concussion fiasco, and Wade’s non-review.
Australia, on the other hand, erased the poor IPL 2020 memories. Aaron Finch, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell – all came back with a bang. Good performances by youngsters and comeback kids as well.
Here are my picks for the best moments of the series, the emerging players, and where these two teams go from here? COMMENT BELOW ON YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS.
India still have not solved their middle muddle. Shreyas Iyer returned with scores of 2, 38, 19, 12*, and 0 across formats. None of India’s batsman bowl and none of the bowlers bat well. The #4 position and the 6th bowling option is still a major worry.
Chahal leaked 89 & 71 runs and was eventually dropped for the third. Although he was the man of the match in the first T20I, it is still a matter of concern in the flat ODI pitches. Time to bring Kul-Cha back together?
First time since 2008 that Virat Kohli has not registered a century. Came close with a 89 and 63, but 2020 has just been that kind of year.
Shardul Thakur has a knack of taking wickets as we can see from his 3/51 in the 3rd ODI.
Although Sanju Samson gave India impetus with innings like 23(14) and 15(9), it was just not enough. With the likes of Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav in the background, Samson may not have too long of a rope.
Hardik Pandya dedicated his Player of Series award to T. Natarajan and deservingly so. Although Pandya finished things off, Natarajan’s 3/30, 2/20, and 1/33 were crucial to limit India’s targets.
Glenn Maxwell could not hit a fly in IPL 2020. Put the Australia jersey on and boy, was he on fire? The entire 2 months of IPL – 0 sixes. 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is – 16 sixes in total including quickfire 45(19), 63*(29), 59 (38), 54 (36), 22 (13) across formats. Australia have found their finisher.
Although Smith & Maxwell were the catalyst, the solid platform provided by Aaron Finch with 2-100s and 1-50. He is growing in his captaincy role as well.
Does Australia have a Mitchell Starc problem? 1/65, 0/82, & wide balls does not reflect the stature of Starc.
The leggie Mitchell Swepson joins the party. His 1st wicket of the series? None other than Virat Kohli.
Moises Henriques made a comeback with important contributions with both bat and ball. In the 2nd T20I – 3/22 in his 4 overs along with a 30(20) got Australia close to the target.
We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:
Matthew Wade/ Moises Henriques
Ravindra Jadeja + Hardik Pandya
Broken Cricket Dream
Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please subscribe!
Where Do They Go From Here?
Earlier I had predicted 2-1 India for the ODIs and 2-1 Australia for the T20Is. The results were reversed, but this India Vs Australia series had closed contests regardless. By no means, did these teams perform at their bests. They have a lot to ponder over, especially heading into the Border-Gavaskar Test series and the World T20 next year.
In limited overs, India have to fix their middle over phase – both in batting style and the bowling combinations. For the test series, India have an Ishant Sharma size hole along with concussion/injury issues for Jadeja and Rohit Sharma.
Australia’s injury woes are at another level. First Stoinis and Warner in the limited overs series. Then, the debutant Green and Will Pucovski with concussions during the warm-up games and now even Steven Smith has a soar back. Here is the complete list:
World T20 Watch:
We will do a World T20 Watch from now till the world cup next year. Here is our predicted T20 XI line up as of now based on this series. Several ifs and buts at this point, but it will get clearer along the journey.
India’s limited overs selections need a rethink. ODIs and T20Is are now separate entities and hence, need different criteria. Gone are the days of the three format players barring a couple from each team.
Each position needs a specific role with a like-for-like understudy. Here is my World T20 XI for India as of now:
Dhawan, KL Rahul, Kohli, Iyer, Pandey, Agarwal, Samson, and even Hardik Pandya (with back injury) – none of the top 6 bowl
Rohit Sharma is one of the ODI players of the decade, but is out with an injury from the IPL. How much will this batting line-up miss him?
With the #4 dilemma India suffered prior to the 2019 World Cup semi-final, it may be wise to move KL Rahul to #4 and open with the in-form Mayank Agarwal or Shubman Gill
Aus: Batting Has Too Much Flexibility
With Finch-Warner-Labuschagne-Smith, the top four is pretty solid and settled
The concern is the flexibility in the middle order – Stoinis, Carey, Maxwell and maybe even Moises Henriques/Cameron Green. Carey & Maxwell coming from disaster IPLs and Stoinis in the middle order is a hit and miss (fluid line-ups do not work much – look at KKR from the IPL)
Out-of-the-box: Move Stoinis up to open, drop Labuschagne, and play with 3 all-rounders/power-hitters?
Sanju Samson has always lit up the IPL and is finally getting some chances in the international fold. With KL Rahul almost certainly taking the gloves, can India find a space for him as an X-factor or will he end up as another Indian unlucky cricketer?
Aus: The New Kids on the Block
Sean Abbott, Cameron Green, and Labuschagne in ODIs are great prospects for the future, and it remains to be seen if their long-term future will be secure
Matthew Wade made a marvelous comeback after toiling in domestic cricket for a while. With Carey’s struggle of late, Wade may get a chance. Who knows, at 32, this might be his final try in ODI cricket
Verdict: 2-1 India
This series will be closer than it appears. Australia at home with this bowling attack and an envious top 4, Australia are the clear favorites.
If India can find that final lower-order firepower and exploit Australia’s 5th bowling option, we might be in for a close one.
I think Australia will win the first one, but India will bounce back with two on the trot to win the series.
My Starting XI:
These are my starting XI for the first ODI (assuming everyone is available in terms of COVID and injuries).