India and Australia have had some nail-biting encounters over the years and it has kept the fans entertained all around the world. In some tough situations, some lower-order batsmen from India have stepped up and have taken the attack to the Australian bowlers and put them under pressure. These innings have been crucial for team India in the context of the game and have been either match-winning or have given them a fighting chance to compete in an ODI. Here is a look at 4 such highest scores by a No.7 ODI batsman for India in Australia.
1. Kapil Dev – 75 (1980)
Kapil Dev has arguably been the greatest all-rounder India has ever produced till date. He was the first Indian captain who led team India to the World Cup glory in 1983. He was a terrifying bowler but also a very handy batsman and has played many crucial knocks for India down the order.
One such knock came against New Zealand Down Under in 1980. It was the 7th game of the tri-series between India, New Zealand and Australia and India batted first against the Black Caps and were in deep trouble as they lost half their side for just 84 runs. This is when Kapil Dev came to the crease and began his rearguard action.
In a counter-attacking style of play, Kapil Dev began to take on the New Zealand bowlers and smashed them all around the park. In just 51 balls, he scored 75 runs which included 9 fours and three sixes. India were able to cross the 200-run mark only because of the brilliance of Kapil Dev. Although the Kiwis won the game, Kapil Dev’s knock of 75 still remains the highest ODI score by a No.7 batsman for India in Australia.
2. Ravindra Jadeja – 66* (2020)
India played Australia in the 3rd ODI of their ODI series in late 2020 at Canberra. Batting first, India kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and except skipper Virat Kohli, no one else really was able to step up and build on the starts that they got. India were in a spot of bother at 152-5 when Ravindra Jadeja walked in. Him along with Hardik Pandya who was well-set were the last recognized batting pair for India and thus them remaining at the crease for as long as possible was crucial.
Jadeja first concentrated on rotating the strike and keeping the scoreboard ticking. Once he was set, he began to take the role of the aggressor and began targetting specific Australian bowlers like Josh Hazlewood and Sean Abbott and scored a quickfire 66* off just 50 balls that helped India post a competitive total of 302-5 in their 50 overs.
Australia could not chase it down as they were bowled out for 289. Jadeja’s innings remains the second-highest ODI score by No.7 batsman for India in Australia.
3. Hemang Badani – 60* (2004)
It was the 1st Final of the 2004 VB series between India and Australia and India batted first. The Men in Blue were in deep trouble as they lost 6 wickets for just 75 runs and were in danger of getting bowled out cheaply. This is when Hemang Badani took the game deep and began to consolidate India’s innings.
Batting extremely well with the lower order, Badani scored an unbeaten 60 off 81 balls and helped India reach a fighting total of 222. Although Australia won the game, the innings of 60 from Badani still remains the third-highest score by a No.7 batsman for India in Australia.
4. Robin Uthappa – 51 (2008)
It was the 10th match of the 2008 Commonwealth Bank tri-series between India, Australia and Sri Lanka and India played Australia. The Aussies scored a daunting total of 317-7 in their 50 overs and the Indian batsmen needed a good start in order to break the back of the run-chase.
Gautam Gambhir scored a fantastic century but there was nothing much from the others as India were struggling at 149-5. This is when Robin Uthappa came to the crease and began playing his shots. Both Gambhir and Uthappa kept India in the chase and after Gambhir’s dismissal, Uthappa took charge and scored runs quickly. His 51 runs off 46 balls were not enough as India fell short by 18 runs. But his brilliant innings still remains the third-highest ODI score by a No.7 batsman for India in Australia.