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England and Australia gear up for historic 150th ODI

England and Australia have been traditional rivals ever since the game of cricket came into existence. The first Test match was played in 1877 between the two sides in Melbourne and their rivalry has constituted the Ashes contest. England and Australia’s fierce rivalry in cricket is considered one of the marquee contests and it has seen cricket’s stature been redefined over and over again. Now, in 2020, England and Australia are all set to achieve yet another record this time in the limited overs format of the game.

The first ODI between England and Australia from Old Trafford Manchester will be the 150th time England and Australia square off in an ODI. This will make this rivalry only the third such to have contested 150 or more matches. Asian powerhouses India and Sri Lanka top the list with 159 encounters, while Pakistan and Sri Lanka have battled it out on 155 occasions. Not surprisingly, Australia have played the most ODIs against four other nations apart from England.

Australia and England played not just the first Test, but they also played the first ODI also in Melbourne in 1971. The ODI format was devised after the Test in Melbourne was abandoned due to rain for three days. A decision was taken by both the boards and an ODI was played which was seen by over 40,000 people. Australia went on to win the match easily.

Since then, in 149 ODIs, Australia holds a comfortable head-to-head record of 82-62 with two ties and three no results. Even in ICC ODI World Cups, Australia has a 6-3 head-to-head advantage against England. However, in the 2019 ICC World Cup, England successfully managed to break 27 years of a hoodoo as they knocked Australia out of the tournament in the semi-final.