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H2H Battles: Kohli vs Cummins, Pujara vs Lyon, Warner vs Ashwin, and more

article_imageH2H BATTLES
Last updated on 05 Feb 2023 | 12:41 PM
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H2H Battles: Kohli vs Cummins, Pujara vs Lyon, Warner vs Ashwin, and more

Here are a few head-to-head battles that could spice up in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy

There is less than a week left before the most anticipated series between India and Australia gets underway in Nagpur. India in the last three series have managed to win all, both home and away. What’s more impressive is that in 2018-19 and 2020-21, the series was held in Australia. The last time the two teams played a series in India was in 2017.

After nearly six years, they are playing a series in India, but nothing has changed in this long gap. In fact, the rivalries between a few batsmen and bowlers has intensified more. Let’s look at some of the top battles that could ignite the series:

Can Cummins extend his good run against Kohli?

The Australian skipper, Pat Cummins, has been extremely successful against Virat Kohli. In Tests, the paceman has dismissed Kohli five times in 10 innings. The batter averages just 16.4 and has a balls/dismissal ratio of 49.4. Against a bowler whom Kohli has faced 150+ balls, that’s the lowest he averages.

The battle between Nathan Lyon and Kohli is even. Kohli has scored 410 runs at an average of 58.6 against Lyon. On the other hand, Lyon has dismissed him seven times in 25 innings. It is high-risk, high-reward. 

Pujara vs Lyon; round six

The bout between Cheteshwar Pujara and Lyon, enters round six. For the past five Border Gavaskar Trophy, this has been one of the best battles. In the first three series, Lyon held the advantage. In none of these series, Pujara averaged above 40.

However, the tables have turned in the last two series. He has scored 289 runs at an average of 96.3 with only three dismissals as compared to 33.1 with seven in the first three series.

Overall, Pujara has scored 521 runs against Lyon in 28 innings averaging 52.1 (10 dismissals). In Tests this century, only Kumar Sangakkara has scored more runs (531) against a particular bowler (Saeed Ajmal). 

On the other hand, similar to Kohli, Pujara has a weakness against Cummins. In 17 innings, he averages 24.6 with seven dismissals. However, most of his dismissals have been in away conditions, to be precise, six.

Warner’s troublesome record against Indian bowlers

There isn’t much happiness if someone’s a David Warner fan, in the upcoming series. From the current Indian squad, Mohammed Shami is the only bowler against whom he has a good record. Against every other bowler, he has at least one dismissal and averages less than 20 against four bowlers.

His biggest nemesis from the lot has been Ravichandran Ashwin. In 18 innings against the off-spinner, he has 10 dismissals and averages only 18.2. It is the joint-second most times a bowler has been dismissed in Tests. Stuart Broad tops the list with 14 dismissals against Warner.

That doesn’t end there. Against Ashwin’s spin-partner Ravindra Jadeja, he has an even poor record. In nine innings, Warner has four dismissals at an average of 14.8. In Tests, against a bowler whom Warner has faced five-plus innings, only against Jofra Archer (8.7 average with three dismissals) and Neil Wagner (10 average with five dismissals), he averages less.

Even against Umesh Yadav, he has six dismissals in 14 innings. However, his scoring rate against Umesh has been extremely good. He has scored 180 runs at a strike rate of 113.2.

Smith vs Ashwin and Jadeja, another battle to watch out for

When Australia toured India in 2017, Steve Smith was their best batter. He had hit three centuries in four matches that series. Once again, the onus will be on Smith to counter Ashwin and Jadeja.

After facing 10+ innings against both bowlers, Smith has managed to maintain an average of over 65 against Ashwin and 45+ against Jadeja.

Interestingly, Ashwin’s advantage against Smith was extended in the previous tour to Australia. In the first 14 innings, Smith had scored 348 runs at an average of 116 runs with only three dismissals. But, in the 2020/21 tour, Ashwin dismissed three Smith thrice in five innings at an average of 21.3. Overall, Smith has the advantage as he averages 68.7 in 19 innings with six dismissals against Ashwin.  

Against Jadeja, his records have been average. In 12 innings, Smith averages 45.3 with four dismissals. The last time Australia toured India, Jadeja had the wood over Smith as he had dismissed him thrice in seven innings.

Can a gritty Renshaw succeed once again?

In the 2017 Border Gavaskar Trophy, Matt Renshaw was one of the Australian batters who succeeded against both Ashwin and Jadeja.

In six innings against Ashwin, Renshaw has been dismissed only once and has faced 237 balls. In Tests, Renshaw’s balls/dismissal ratio of 237, is the second best after Michael Clarke (355), for any batter against Ashwin (At least one wicket).

Even against Jadeja, Renshaw has only one dismissal in 123 balls. In total, against the two bowlers, Renshaw has only two dismissals and averages 66 and has a balls/dismissal ratio of 180 in Tests.

Cummins sensational record against Ashwin

Cummins might not be great, but sure is a handy batsman lower down the order. When most of the batters have struggled against Ashwin, Cummins has an exceptional record against the off-spinner.

In six innings against Ashwin, Cummins has faced 208 balls without being dismissed. In Tests, only Ricky Ponting (256) has batted more balls against Ashwin without being dismissed. They are the only two batters who have batted 200+ balls without being dismissed, which surely will leave Australia in good stead. 

FEW OTHER MATCH-UPS IN TESTs

Travis Head vs Ravindra Jadeja: Innings – 5, Runs – 31, Balls – 114, Dismissals – 0, Strike rate – 27.2

Pat Cummins vs Ravindra Jadeja: Innings – 9, Runs – 56, Balls – 131, Dismissals – 4, Average – 14, Strike rate – 42.8

Matt Renshaw vs Umesh Yadav: Innings – 7, Runs – 48, Balls – 107, Dismissals – 3, Average – 16, Strike rate – 44.9

Rohit Sharma vs Nathan Lyon: Innings – 12, Runs – 135, Balls – 258, Dismissals – 6, Average – 22.5, Strike rate – 52.3

Ravindra Jadeja vs Nathan Lyon: Innings – 11, Runs -123, Balls – 185, Dismissals – 3, Average – 41, Strike rate – 66.5

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