India's ODI unit is known for its batting strength. Since ages, India's top order has witnessed the presence of several world class batsmen who stamped their supremacy by scoring a mountain of runs against all attacks and on all kinds of surfaces.
Some of these players played their best knocks against the best bowling unit of the modern era, Australia and have inked their name forever in the record books. With the India-Australia ODI series kick-starting in few days, let us relive those top five magical moments when Indian batsmen dominated the Aussies and displayed their class.
#5. Rohit Sharma - 209 runs at Bengaluru, 2013
After struggling to convert his potential into effective performances for six years, Rohit Sharma finally found his mojo when he was asked to open the innings for India.
He looked effective in his initial appearances at the top of the order and against Australia in the home series in 2013, he demonstrated how destructive he could be.
His best performance of the series came in the last and deciding ODI. Batting first on a flat Bengaluru pitch, the Indian opener unleashed all his strokes and scored boundaries at will. He added more than a hundred runs for the first wicket with Dhawan and took complete toll of the powerplay overs.
In the middle overs, Rohit kept the scoreboard ticking and went berserk in the death overs. His hundred came off 114 balls, his 150 off 140 balls and the last 50 runs in only 16 balls.
In the 46th over, the Indian opener collared Xavier Doherty for three sixes and two fours to accumulate 26 runs. That was arguably the epitome of Rohit's unadulterated aggression.
#4 Virat Kohli- 100* at Jaipur, 2013
It was a freak innings. Nothing else can describe the sensational batting and marvellous stroke play produced by Virat Kohli at that night at Jaipur. Indeed, the pitch was flat, the boundaries were short and bowlers had little help available. But nothing can undermine the magnitude of Kohli's masterclass innings that enabled India to chase 360 runs in 44 overs.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan gave India a sterling start, adding 176 runs in 27 overs. When Kohli arrived at the crease, India was in the driver's seat but the task ahead was daunting.
Soon, Kohli took the center stage and Rohit, who himself scored 141*, played the second fiddle. The characteristic of Kohli's innings was the ease with which he smashed sixes.
During his stay of 52 balls, he slammed seven sixes - most of which were a result of sheer genius or incredible timing. At one stage, he launched the pacers nonchalantly in the arc between extra cover and long-off.
Kohli finished the game after scoring the fastest hundred by an Indian in ODI cricket.
#3 Sachin Tendulkar- 175, at Hyderabad, 2009
In a nutshell, this was similar to Sachin's iconic innings at Chennai in 1999 against Pakistan. Sachin ignited hope when things were falling apart and took India to the doorstep of a famous victory only to fall at the end.
In the 5th ODI between India and Australia, the visitors amassed 350 runs and then pushed India to four down for 162 in 24 overs.
From one end, Sachin had unleashed his fury and was looking in supreme touch. But when it looked like he may run out of partners, Suresh Raina joined him and the duo wrecked havoc at Hyderabad.
Raina was dismissed in the 43th over, but Sachin remained strong and kept the chase going. The little master was out in the 48th over, when India needed 19 runs off 18 balls. However, Sachin's departure panicked India's lower order and India fell short by three runs.
Sachin alone scored more than half of India's total runs and during his stay, kept the Aussie bowlers in check. He prevented pacers Hilfenhaus and Bollinger from settling down and kept on punishing them whenever they committed an error. He was especially severe when he was offered width.
With his powerful drives and punches, he sent the ball to the fence and smartly rotated the strike.
Sachin ensured that the lone spinner, Nathan Hauritz didn't find his rhythm. The Indian opener stepped out frequently to trash him over his head and also went back at times to play him behind the square. Hauritz bowled only five overs in the game.
#2 Sachin Tendulkar- 134 at Sharjah, 1998
After demolishing Australia single-handedly in the previous game, Sachin Tendulkar walked to the crease in the finals of the Coca-Cola Cup, with India chasing a target of 273 runs. It was evident that the battle was Sachin vs Aussie bowlers and everyone was eager to see Australia's response to Sachin's aggression.
But Sachin continued from where he left and started amassing runs from the word go. He began by driving Michael Kasprowicz into the covers and soon unleashed his flicks and nudges.
Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin kept one end secure during the middle overs and allowed the opening batsman to play liberally. Sachin tore apart every Australian bowler and more than his runs, the manner in which he scored the runs signified his batting prowess.
Against the pacers, he wasn't afraid of stepping out of the crease while against the spinners, he used his soft hands to maneuver the gaps. It was a precisely calibrated yet furiously paced attack on the best ODI team of that era.
The Indian batsman kept the run-rate under check with his frequent boundaries and by the time Kasprowicz trapped him in front of the wickets in the 45th over, the game and the trophy was safely in India's pocket.
The pure attacking approach utilized by Sachin in this game showed his mastery over all cricket strokes and his ability to step up to the occasion.
#1 Sachin Tendulkar- 143 at Sharjah, 1998
Australia did everything right on the night of April 22, 1998, at Sharjah, except for one thing. First, they scored a mountain of runs and then bowled effectively to strangle Indian batsmen.
They eventually won the game, but the world 's best bowling attack failed to keep in check only one Indian batsman and this shortcoming allowed India to sneak in the finals of the Coca-cola cup, despite losing the match.
In simple terms it was one versus eleven. In a do or die game, while chasing a mammoth total, Indian batsmen imploded in front of the dominating Aussie bowling attack. But Sachin Tendulkar stood tall amidst the despair and produced one of the best counter-attacks in ODI cricket.
On that night, the Little Master was at his best. Along with his trademark drives and cuts that pierced the fielders to perfection, there were audacious pulls and authoritative whips on the leg-side.
The Indian batsman spared no-one and was especially brutal against Shane Warne.The battle between the two maestros reached its pinnacle during this game and Sachin stamped his dominance by thrashing the leg-spinner in the mid-wicket stand.
The sight of Sachin dancing down the track, exposing his stumps and launching Warne into the orbit is how this Sharjah desert storm is remembered by cricket fans.
This innings added immensely to Sachin's legendary status.