Here we look at statistical summaries of all Tests between these countries.
While Australia still leads by a healthy 43-30, India has also developed a strong home advantage over the last few decades.
We now look at individual performances.
Batting-most runs (750+):
The most centuries in these Tests is 11 by Tendulkar, followed by Ponting, Smith and Gavaskar with 8 apiece.
The most scores of 50+ is 27 by Tendulkar, 20 by Ponting and 18 by VVS Laxman.
The total runs are also in the same order. Pujara and Smith have the most runs by current players.
Next we look at highest innings (175+):
While there have been many tall scores over the years, this was a low-scoring series. The highest score by current players is 204 by Pujara in 2012-13. Next is 202 and 193 (both by Pujara!). Kohli’s highest is 169 which does not appear above.
Smith is followed by Boon and there is a large gap after that. Tendulkar has the highest average among Indian players. Pujara has the highest average among current Indian players, followed by Kohli and Rahane.
Highest strike rates (Min 1000 balls, 50.00):
Gilchrist is just ahead of Sehwag, and there is a long gap ahead of Warner. Other current players here are Smith, Kohli and Rahane. As you may expect, Pujara and Gavaskar are not in this list.
Almost 2400 Tests have been played up to the end of August 2020, and over 3000 players have played in one or more Tests.
(Note: These records do not include the Aus v ICC XI Test of 2005-06)
How many do you think played at least 5 Tests and saw their team winning all of them?
You may think it is a large number. No, it is only 4:
The forgotten Eldine Baptiste has seen his team win in all the 10 Tests he played between 1983 and 1990. He could bat a bit, and was usually the fourth pace bowler in a strong West Indies attack. See this:
5 Tests as a specialist batsman, and a batting average in single figures. He also captained England in 4 Tests (which, naturally, were all won).
Now that was a rather incomplete list. So we look at those who played at least 5 Tests and saw their team win in at least 75% of them:
33 names here. The most recent name is TD Astle (son of Nathan) of New Zealand who played in 2020. Others from 2017 include KK Nair, WD Parnell and JM Bird. KK Nair is the only one from India, and he is probably not going to play a Test again.
But there were others who had even longer winning streaks at the start of their careers.
Adam Gilchrist played 95 Tests, of which his team won 72, lost 11 and drew 12 (75.79% as above). They won all of his first 15 Tests from 5 Nov 1999 to 27 Feb 2001, until Harbhajan, VVS and Dravid spoilt Australia’s party at Kolkata.
Records of this type are not well documented, but the next in line seem to be Stuart Clark and Tim Bresnan with victories in each of their first 13 Tests.
Clark’s winning streak was from 16 Mar 2006 to 2 Jan 2008, and his career figures were 18 wins, 2 losses and 4 draws (75.00 as above).
He appears to have some Indian connection as his parents were Anglo-Indians who had migrated to Australia. As in Gilchrist’s case, his successful run ended when India won against Australia. This time it was at Perth.
Bresnan’s winning streak was from 6 May 2009 to 25 May 2012. He finished with 15 wins, 4 losses and 4 draws (65.22%).
More recently, SM Curran saw victory in his first 7 Tests. He now has 19 Tests with 13 wins, 4 losses and 2 draws (68.42%).
AK Markram saw victory in his first 5 Tests. He now has 20 Tests with 12 victories, 8 losses and no draws (60.00%).
Sir Richard Hadlee and SK Warne are far ahead of everyone else. The former has the most 5-fors (14) and 10-fors (3)
Best innings bowling (including all 6wi and more):
Hadlee again has the best performance. Strangely enough no Australian bowler has taken more than 6wi. Predictably that was Warne.
Best match bowling (including all 10wm and more):
Hadlee still again, followed by Vettori. Hadlee’s 15-1243 is the best of New Zealand against all teams. He also scored a fifty in that match, and took 33 wickets in that 3-Test series in Australia in 1985-86.
Best bowling average (Min 2000 balls, all instances):
Here Lyon just edges in ahead of Hadlee. Chatfield has the best economy rate and Lyon the best strike rate.
Most dismissals (20 or more):
RW Marsh is far ahead of the next. Border has the most (31) dismissals by a non-keeper.
Most innings dismissals (5 or more):
Marsh is among those with 5 dismissals. No non-keeper has 5 catches.
Most match dismissals (7 or more):
Gilchrist has the most dismissals, while no non-keeper has 7 catches.
Best dismissal rate (Min 20 innings, 0.600):
Marsh predictably leads this table. The highest dismissal rate by a non-keeper is by MA Taylor.
All-round performance (Overall):
See criteria in table.
Warne and Hadlee lead. Warne’s Test highest of 99 came against New Zealand.
All-round match performance (fifty and 5-for):
Hadlee’s 54 and 15 wickets takes pride of place here. Dodemaide’s 50 and 5wi came on his debut, while he failed to make either in the rest of his career.
The most 5-wicket hauls is 12 by SF Barnes, while several others have 11.
Several have 4 10-wicket match hauls.
The highest among current players is 118 by Broad. Lyon and Siddle are also here.
Best innings bowling (including all instances of 8wi and better):
You don’t need to be reminded about the first two entries. The only one from a current player is Broad’s 8-15 in 2015.
Best match bowling (all instances of 11wm and better):
Nothing from recent years.
Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, 25.00 or less):
As you may guess, the top positions are all from the 19th century. From current players we have Cummins and Hazlewood.
We see that the best averages are by Lohmann and Ferris. The best economy rates are by Attewell (1.31) and Ironmonger (1.74). The best strike rates are by Ferris (42.2) and Lohmann (42.9)
Most dismissals (30 and above):
The most dismissals and catches by a keeper are by RW Marsh. But the record for stumpings is 31 by WAS Oldfield (who still holds the Test record of 52). The most catches by a non-keeper are 61 by GS Chappell, followed by Border and Botham with 57.
Best innings fielding: 6 and above
No non-keeper has taken more than 4 catches in an innings.
Best match fielding: 7 and above
Langley was the first of several who made 9 dismissals. His was a world record until surpassed by RW Taylor in 1980. GS Chappell was the first non-keeper to take 7 catches in a match, a world record equalled by several others and surpassed by AM Rahane in 2015.
Best dismissal rate (Min 20 innings, 0.65):
Headed by Gilchrist, followed by Haddin and Healy. The best by non-keepers are by LC Braund, WG Grace and AW Greig.
Overall (see criteria in table):
KR Miller heads this list followed by two from the 19th century. Broad is the only current player here, although he is currently batting at 10 or 11.
Match performance (50 and 5wi):
The best performances include 100/5wi by JM Gregory and Botham (THAT match in 1981), besides 50/10wm by W Bates, Trumble and Woolley of long ago.
Note Herath’s late surge after Muralitharan retired. Starc heads the current players.
The most 5wis are 6 by Herath and Starc. The most 10wms are 2 by Warne and Starc.
Best innings bowling (6wi and above):
Cummins has the best figures among current players.
Best match bowling (9wm and above):
In this series, Cummins (10-62 at Brisbane) and Starc (10-100 at Canberra) surpassed the previous mark for Australia vs Sri Lanka at home. It was earlier held by Siddle (9-104 at Hobart in 2012).
Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):
Herath and Warne have the best bowling averages.
Vaas and Warne have the best economy rates.
Herath and Warne have the best strike rates.
Most dismissals (12 and above):
Gilchrist and Healy have the most catches by a keeper (32) and Gilchrist also has the most stumpings (5). The most catches by a non-keeper are 20 by M Jayawardene. Only Kusal Mendis represents current players here with 12 dismissals.
Most innings dismissals (4 and above):
This time Hayden has the most catches by a fielder with 4.
Most match dismissals (6 and above):
Healy and Gilchrist yet again, while Hayden’s 7 catches as a non-keeper were a share in the world record at that time.
Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.5):
Sangakkara has the highest dismissal rate, while M Jayawardene has the highest by a non-keeper.
All-round overall performance (see criteria):
Only Vaas meets these criteria.
All-round match performance (50 and 5wi in match):
We look at other performances by captains in tests lost by their team. We will see that India is well represented here.
Best innings bowling (including all instances of 5wi and above):
Kapil is the only captain who has taken more than 7 wickets here. BS Bedi, Imran Khan and Courtney Walsh have multiple appearances. Current players include Shakib Al Hasan (multiple appearances), Graeme Cremer and Jason Holder.
Best match bowling (8wm and above):
Kapil again heads this, from that same match in 1983. Bedi is the only other one with a 10-for. Current players include Jason Holder and Graeme Cremer.
Best innings fielding (5 dismissals):
Includes a few current players such as Mushfiqur, SPD Smith and Sarfraz. Sammy and Smith are the only non-keepers here.
Best match fielding (6 dismissals):
Current player Sarfraz Ahmed tops this list along with AC Gilchrist, while MS Dhoni and SPD Smith also appear. SP Fleming and SPD Smith (twice) are the only non-keepers. Gilchrist was a “regular” stand-in captain.
Best all-round performance (50 and 5wi):
Holder and Shakib from the present, while Imran Khan has two appearances from the same series in 1982. The best performances would by by Imran (July 1982) and Holder.
Continuing the studies of past ODIs involving England and Australia.
Most wickets (20 and above):
Brett Lee leads by a large margin over the runner-up McGrath. Rashid and Ali lead among current players.
Brett Lee is the only one to have taken more than one fiver. He also has taken the most (4) 4+ hauls.
Best innings bowling (including all 5wi):
Not much from recent times, the best being 5-35 by Tom Curran earlier in 2018. Bichel’s 7-34 came in a hard-fought World Cup match. Similarly for Gilmour’s 6-14 in the semi-final of the first World Cup. Both of them made useful contributions with the bat as well, 34* by Bichel and 28* by Gilmour (useful when the team is 39/6 chasing 94).
Best bowling averages (Minimum 1000 balls, all cases):
McGrath and Lee lead, with Rashid and Ali lead amongst the present players.
The best economy rate is 4.02 by Botham, and the best strike rate 29.8 by Rashid.
Most dismissals (15 and above):
Gilchrist leads but Buttler is quickly catching up. Buttler also has the most stumpings.
The most dismissals by non-keepers are 18 by Strauss and 17 by Clarke and Ponting.
Most dismissals in an innings (4 and above):
Gilchrist is the only one with 6 dismissals.
Dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.500):
Gilchrist and Buttler lead. Root has the best amongst non-keepers.
Career (see criteria in table):
Surprisingly Collingwood comes up higher than Botham and Johnson, mainly because of his batting.
Match performance (Minimum 30 runs and 3 wickets):
The best performance here would be Bichel’s in the 2003 World Cup, probably followed by Maxwell’s in 2015.
That was before the “choking” tag came up. And it remains South Africa’s only win in an ICC tournament until now.
Tail piece: It is possible that the 2017 Champions Trophy will be the last such tournament. See the news item below which is the most recent reliable report I could find. Possibly the ICC will decide on this after this tournament is over. If held, the 2021 championship is likely to be held in India.