India will renew their white-ball rivalry with Australia on Wednesday when the two teams lock horns in their first ODI under lights at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. The last time they met was in the ICC World Cup in England in June and nine to 10 months ahead of the T20 World Cup and India’s tour Down Under, the three-match ODI series will give both teams to set up a trailer.
Former Australia captain Steve Waugh has many a memorable experience in India — good or bad. While he was a young member of the team that won the World Cup in Kolkata in 1987, he was the captain of the Australian side that got derailed after winning 16 consecutive Tests after a storm named VVS Laxman hit it in that same venue in 2001.
The 54-year-old has arrived in India ahead of the potentially explosive series and defined the rivalry between the two heavyweight sides and besides naming the favourites. “It is always a great series, Australia and India. It has become a tradition,” Timesnownews.com cites agencies quoting Waugh as saying.
‘India is right now the best all-round team’: Steve Waugh
“I think it is going to be an outstanding series. Everyone is looking forward to it already. Look there is no doubt it (David Warner and Steve Smith) will make our team stronger. But there is no doubt that India right now is the best all-round cricket team in the world, they will welcome that challenge. It will be a series that people will remember for a long time.”
Waugh, who also led Australia to win the World Cup in 1999, said the Kangaroos have recovered “really well” after the ball-tampering scandal that rocked them in South Africa in early 2018.
“I don’t think you ever have the edge in India but you are right they will take a lot of confidence from the last series. It was a great victory and beginning of the rebuilding of the side. It was a significant series, they started believing that they could beat anyone from there. But India in India start favourites,” opined the former right-hander.
Both India and Australia have beaten each other in away series of late. While India beat the Kangaroos in a Test and ODI series in their den in 2018-19, Australia thumped Virat Kohli’s side in T20Is and ODIs in India last year. The second and third matches of the series will be in Rajkot (January 17) and Bengaluru (January 19), respectively.
Head to head, India and Australia have played in 137 ODIs since 1980 with the Kangaroos having 77-50 lead with 10 games ending inconclusively.
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