It's going to be Kohli vs Smith in a myriad of ways but history of the numbers suggest the Indian captain has a bigger advantage leading into the first Test in Pune. © Getty Images

It’s going to be Kohli vs Smith in a myriad of ways but history of the numbers suggest the Indian captain has a bigger advantage leading into the first Test in Pune. © Getty Images

A tour of the subcontinent/Asia has always been a daunting task for visiting sides. However, in recent times, Australia in particular have had torrid experiences. In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, it was all about hotels, food, and turning tracks. Despite these issues, teams of that era performed well. In the 1950s and 60s, Australia won three of their four series in India. Things began to change in the early 80s when India started to become a force to contend with at home, so much so Steve Waugh labelled the tour of 2001 as his “final frontier.” This was probably a turning point in Australia’s performance in the subcontinent, which has gone quickly downhill. They have plumbed the depths in the last decade or so, as the three tables below show. They rank only above Zimbabwe in terms of performances in Asia since October 2008. Their last series win in India was way back in 2004, and their last tour to India in 2013 was nothing short of a nightmare.

Steven Smith, however, leads out a young and new-look Australian side which seems to be motivated and better prepared, as their performance in the tour game showed. With a competitive series likely and India, themselves under a young Test captain in Virat Kohli, fiercely looking to defend their tag as the No. 1 Test side, the series beginning in Pune on Thursday (February 23) promises to be an enthralling one.

The tables below show Australian Test performances in Asia since 2008 vis-à-vis other visiting sides.

Result summary of all visiting sides to Asia since October 2008

For

Tests

W

L

D

%win

England

23

6

13

4

26.09

West Indies

17

4

8

5

23.53

South Africa

14

3

5

6

21.43

New Zealand

19

3

10

6

15.79

Australia

18

1

13

4

5.56

Zimbabwe

3

0

3

0

0

Most runs scored per wicket by visiting sides since October 2008 in Asia

R/W

For

Tests

Inns

Runs

Wkts

R/o

32.43

England

23

46

12615

389

2.92

32.07

West Indies

17

32

8788

274

3.15

31.14

South Africa

14

23

6073

195

2.75

30.11

New Zealand

19

36

9877

328

3.04

28.84

Australia

18

35

9576

332

2.95

25.15

Zimbabwe

3

6

1509

60

3.09

Fewest runs conceded per wicket by visiting sides since October 2008 in Asia

R/W

For

Tests

Inns

Runs

Wkts

R/o

33.26

South Africa

14

24

6485

195

3.04

35.1

England

23

43

13269

378

3.09

36.43

Zimbabwe

3

6

1858

51

3.07

38.73

West Indies

17

28

8986

232

3.53

41.71

Australia

18

35

11012

264

3.41

42.3

New Zealand

19

35

10997

260

3.23

The tables below look at Australia’s Test tours to Asia since October 2008, and how they have fared as a team as well as individually. They have so far made six tours to Asia since October 2008 and managed to win just one of them, while losing five. In the 18 Tests played during these tours, they managed to win just one (in Sri Lanka in 2011) and lost 13, with four draws.

Australia in Tests in Asia since October 2008
Result summary

Country

Tests

W

L

D

%win

In India

10

0

8

2

0

In Sri Lanka

6

1

3

2

16.67

In UAE

2

0

2

0

0

Total

18

1

13

4

5.56

Series-wise performances in Asia since October 2008

Season

Country

Tests

W

L

D

Result

Australian captain

Opponent captain

 

2008/09

India

4

0

2

2

Lost

Ricky Ponting

Anil Kumble (2) MS Dhoni (2)

 
 

2010/11

India

2

0

2

0

Lost

Ricky Ponting

MS Dhoni

 

2011

Sri Lanka

3

1

0

2

Won

Michael Clarke

TM Dilshan

 

2012/13

India

4

0

4

0

Lost

Michael Clarke (3) Shane Watson (1)

MS Dhoni

 
 

2014/15

UAE

2

0

2

0

Lost

Michael Clarke

Misbah-ul-Haq

 

2016

Sri Lanka

3

0

3

0

Lost

Steve Smith

Angelo Mathews

 

Summary: Series: 6, Won 1, Lost 5

Total individual 100s

For Australia: 15

Against Australia: 28 (including six double-centuries)

Highest individual scores

For Australia

Runs

Batsman

Against

Venue

Season

146

Mike Hussey

India

Bangalore

2008/09

142

Mike Hussey

Sri Lanka

Pallekelle

2011

141

Shaun Marsh

Sri Lanka

Pallekelle

2011

133

David Warner

Pakistan

Dubai

2014/15

130

Michael Clarke

India

Chennai

2012/13

130

Shaun Marsh

Sri Lanka

ColomboSSC

2016

Against Australia

Runs

Batsman

for

Venue

Season

224

MS Dhoni

India

Chennai

2012/13

214

Sachin Tendulkar

India

Bangalore

2010/11

213

Younus Khan

Pakistan

Abu Dhabi

2014/15

206

Gautam Gambhir

India

Delhi

2008/09

204

Cheteshwar Pujara

India

Hyderabad

2012/13

200*

VVS Laxman

India

Delhi

2008/09

Best for SL: 176 by Kusal Mendis in Pallekele in 2016

Leading run-getters

For Australia

 

Mts

Inns

No

Runs

Ave

HS

100

50

Mike Hussey

9

16

0

956

59.75

146

3

5

Michael Clarke

14

26

0

843

32.42

130

3

3

Shane Watson

12

22

0

627

28.5

126

1

3

Ricky Ponting

8

15

0

614

40.93

123

1

4

David Warner

9

18

0

597

33.17

133

1

4

Against Australia

 

For

Mts

Inns

No

Runs

Ave

HS

100

50

Sachin Tendulkar

India

10

19

3

991

61.94

214

2

5

M Vijay

India

6

11

0

680

61.82

167

3

1

MS Dhoni

India

10

15

3

679

56.58

224

1

4

Cheteshwar Pujara

India

5

9

2

495

70.71

204

1

3

Virender Sehwag

India

8

15

0

491

32.73

92

0

4

Best for Pak: 468 runs by Younis Khan, Best for SL: 426 runs by Angelo Mathews

Note: Vijay and Younis have made the most 100s against the Aussies – three each

Best bowling in an innings

For Australia

Bowl

Bowler

Against

Venue

Season

8/215

Jason Krejza

India

Nagpur

2008/09

7/94

Nathan Lyon

India

Delhi

2012/13

6/50

Mitchell Starc

Sri Lanka

Galle

2016

5/34

Nathan Lyon

Sri Lanka

Galle

2011

5/44

Mitchell Starc

Sri Lanka

Galle

2016

Best against Pak: 3/39 by Mitchell Johnson in Dubai in 2014-15

Against Australia

Bowl

Bowler

For

Venue

Season

7/64

Rangana Herath

Sri Lanka

ColomboSSC

2016

7/103

R Ashwin

India

Chennai

2012/13

7/157

Rangana Herath

Sri Lanka

ColomboSSC

2011

6/70

Dilruwan Perera

Sri Lanka

Galle

2016

6/81

Rangana Herath

Sri Lanka

ColomboSSC

2016

Best for Pak: 5/74 by Zulfiqar Babar in Dubai in 2014-15

Best bowling in a match

For Australia

Bowl

Bowler

Against

Venue

Season

12/358

Jason Krejza

India

Nagpur

2008/09

11/94

Mitchell Starc

Sri Lanka

Galle

2016

9/165

Nathan Lyon

India

Delhi

2012/13

Best against Pak: 4/219 by Stephen O’Keefe in Dubai in 2014-15

Best bowling in a match

Against Australia

Bowl

Bowler

Against

Venue

Season

13/145

Rangana Herath

Sri Lanka

ColomboSSC

2016

12/198

R Ashwin

India

Chennai

2012/13

10/99

Dilruwan Perera

Sri Lanka

Galle

2016

Best for Pak: 7/116 by Yasir Shah in Dubai in 2014-15

Leading wicket-takers

For Australia

 

Mts

Balls

Mds

Runs

Wkts

Ave

5wi

10m

Best

Nathan Lyon

11

2916

53

1788

42

42.57

2

0

7/94

Mitchell Johnson

12

2642

92

1332

33

40.36

1

0

5/64

Mitchell Starc

6

1203

42

706

28

25.21

3

1

6/50

Shane Watson

12

1294

51

545

19

28.68

0

0

4/42

Peter Siddle

8

1630

69

789

19

41.53

1

0

5/71

Against Australia

 

For

Mts

Balls

Mds

Runs

Wkts

Ave

5wi

10m

Best

Rangana Herath

S Lanka

5

1626

63

725

44

16.48

5

1

7/64

Harbhajan Singh

India

7

2354

75

1002

31

32.32

0

0

4/64

R Ashwin

India

4

1448

74

583

29

20.1

4

1

7/103

Ishant Sharma

India

9

1534

57

776

25

31.04

0

0

4/77

Ravindra Jadeja

India

4

1160

53

419

24

17.46

1

0

5/58

Best for Pak: 14 wickets by Zulfiqar Babar

India v Australia head-to-head in Tests

Test matches between India and Australia have elicited a lot of interest among fans and pundits since the late 1990s, an interest that peaked after the 2001 series. Australia was the first country India toured as an independent nation in 1947-48. However, the Aussies made their maiden tour to the subcontinent only in 1956. Since then, there have been regular exchanges between the two sides.

It was in 2001 that an emerging Indian side led by a defiant Sourav Ganguly showed the world that the Australians, seemingly invincible at the time, were human after all. That series was among the most keenly watched and followed. However, even before this period, there have been some gripping Test matches and series between the two sides. For those fortunate enough to have watched it, the final moments of the tied Test in Chennai in September 1986 remain unforgettable, with a pumped-up Ravi Shastri egging the crowd on in those heart-stopping final moments. Equally memorable was the Bishan Bedi-led Indian side’s tour Down Under in 1977-78, where they almost pulled off the improbable, a Test series win in Australia.

The last time Australia played in India in February-March 2013, they lost all four Tests. The current series, however, is different in many ways than the past few the two sides have played. The two top-ranked Test sides in the world are still in the rebuilding process, led by young guns Kohli and Smith.

With India defeating Australia’s arch-rivals England easily in the recent Test series, the Aussies have a point to prove. All in all, an interesting few weeks of Test cricket lie ahead.

Here’s a look at all the Australian tours to India from 1996, since the institution of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

India-Australia in Tests head to head

       

Mts

Ind  

Aus

D

Tie

Period

in India  

46

19

12

14

1

1956/57 to 2012/13

in Australia  

44

5

28

11

0

1947/48 to 2014/15

Overall 

90

24

40

25

1

 

Australia Test series in India

Series  

Ind

Aus 

D  

Tie 

Series won by

India captain

Australia captain

1956-57 

3

0

2

1

0

Australia

Polly Umrigar

Ian Johnson (2), Ray Lindwall (1)

1959-60 

5

1

2

2

0

Australia

GS Ramchand

Richie Benaud

1964-65 

3

1

1

1

0

Drawn

MAK Pataudi

Bobby Simpson

1969-70 

5

1

3

1

0

Australia

MAK Pataudi

Bill Lawry

1979-80 

6

2

0

4

0

India

Sunil Gavaskar

Kim Hughes

1986-87 

3

0

0

2

1

Drawn

Kapil Dev

Allan Border

Border-Gavaskar Trophy (in India)

Series    M   Ind  Aus   D    Tie   Series won by India captain Australia captain
1996-97   1 1 0 0 0 India Sachin Tendulkar Mark Taylor
1997-98   3 2 1 0 0 India Mohd Azharuddin Mark Taylor
2000-01   3 2 1 0 0 India Sourav Ganguly Steve Waugh
2004-05   4 1 2 1 0 Australia Sourav Ganguly (2), Rahul Dravid (2) Adam Gilchrist (3), Ricky Ponting (1)
2008-09   4 2 0 2 0 India Anil Kumble (2), MS Dhoni (2) Ricky Ponting
2010-11   2 2 0 0 0 India MS Dhoni Ricky Ponting
2012-13 4 4 0 0 0 India MS Dhoni Michael Clarke (3), Shane Watson (1)
Total 21 14 4 3 0      

Border-Gavaskar Trophy (in Australia)

Series  

Ind

Aus 

D  

Tie 

Series won by

India captain

Australia captain

1999-00

3

0

3

0

0

Australia

Sachin Tendulkar

Steve Waugh

2003-04

4

1

1

2

0

Drawn

Sourav Ganguly

Steve Waugh

2007-08

4

1

2

1

0

Australia

Anil Kumble

Ricky Ponting

2011-12

5

0

5

0

0

Australia

MS Dhoni (3), Virender Sehwag (1)

Michael Clarke

2014-15

4

0

2

2

0

Australia

Virat Kohli (2), MS Dhoni (2)

Michael Clarke (1), Steve Smith (3)

Total

20

2

13

5

0

     

Overall Test series results 1947-48 to 2014-15

Country

Series

Ind

Aus

Drawn

In India

13

7

4

2

In Australia

11

0

8

3

Total

24

7

12

5

Test series results from 1996-97 to 2014-15 i.e., start of Border-Gavaskar Trophy

Country

Series

Ind

Aus

Drawn

In India

7

6

1

0

In Australia

5

0

4

1

Total

12

6

5

1

Highest team totals:

For India : 705/7d in Sydney 2003-04 (in India: 657/7d in Kolkata, 2000-01)

For Australia : 674 in Adelaide 1947-48 (in India: 577 in Delhi, 2008-09)

Lowest team totals:

For India : 58 in Brisbane 1947-48 (in India: 104 in Mumbai WS, 2004-05)

For Australia : 83 in Melbourne 1980-81 (in India: 93 in Mumbai WS, 2004-05)

Total 100s:

Overall: 175 (India 76; Australia 99)

in India: 71 (India 36; Australia 35)

Highest individual 100s:

For India : 281 by VVS Laxman in Kolkata 2000-01

For Australia : 329* by Michael Clarke in Sydney 2011-12 (in India: 210 by Dean Jones in Chennai, 1986-87)

Most individual 100s:

For India : 11 by Sachin Tendulkar (in India: 5 by Sachin Tendulkar)

For Australia : 8 by Ricky Ponting (in India: 3 by Neil Harvey/Michael Clarke)

Leading run-getters:

For India : 3630 runs by Sachin Tendulkar (in India: 1821 runs by Sachin Tendulkar)

For Australia : 2555 runs by Ricky Ponting (in India: 1027 runs by Matthew Hayden)

Total 5+wkt hauls in an innings:

Overall: 117 (India 65; Australia 52)

in India: 67 (India 38; Australia 29)

Total 10+wkt hauls in a match:

Overall: 26 (India 12; Australia 14)

in India: 16 (India 9; Australia 7)

Best bowling in an innings:

For India : 9/69 by Jasu Patel in Kanpur 1959-60

For Australia : 8/215 by Jason Krejza in Nagpur2 2008-09

Best bowling in a match:

For India : 15/217 by Harbhajan Singh in Chepauk 2000-01

For Australia : 12/124 by Alan Davidson in Kanpur 1959-60

Most individual 5+wkt hauls in an innings:

For India : 10 by Anil Kumble (in India: 7 by Harbhajan Singh)

For Australia : 5 by Richie Benaud (in India: 5 by Richie Benaud)

Most individual 10+wkt hauls in a match:

For India : 3 by Harbhajan Singh (in India: 3 by Harbhajan Singh)

For Australia : 2 by Graham McKenzie (in India: 1 by 7 bowlers)

Leading wicket-takers:

For India : 111 wkts by Anil Kumble (in India: 86 wkts by Harbhajan Singh)

For Australia : 53 wkts by Brett Lee (in India: 52 wkts by Richie Benaud)

Most dismissals by a wicketkeeper:

For India : 71 (56ct+15st) by MS Dhoni (In India: 36 (25ct+11st) by MS Dhoni)

For Australia : 75 (73ct+2st) by Adam Gilchrist (In India: 29 (all ct) by Adam Gilchrist)

Most catches by a fielder:

For India : 46 by Rahul Dravid (In India: 32 by Rahul Dravid)

For Australia : 36 by Ricky Ponting (In India: 20 by Ricky Ponting)

Most appearances:

For India : 39 by Sachin Tendulkar (In India: 19 by Sachin Tendulkar)

For Australia : 29 Ricky Ponting (In India: 14 by Ricky Ponting)