CWC15 Semi final Preview #IndvsAus
India vs Australia
India look to stop whirlwind Australia
Prior to the commencement of the World Cup 2015 (CWC15), not many gave India a second look for the tournament following the disastrous three month tour in Australia where they failed to win a single match. With MS Dhoni retiring from Tests mid series there were apprehensions of rifts in the team. A winless tri series buttressed the claim of rifts.
But here we are after more than one month of this edition and India is awaiting for the co hosts Australia in the semi finals at Sydney Cricket Ground.
However, it will be the biggest challenge for India to play Australia in Australia and at daunting stage of a CWC15 semi final. Compounding the problems for Dhoni’s men is the team balance this Australian team possesses with the batting as deep as number eight while having as many as six genuine bowling options.
Also the kind of form Australia has been in preceding to the tournament gives them the extra edge. Beating South Africa, India and England at home had only bolstered the team’s prospects entering into tournament.
With the batting line up and order settled and at the same time accommodating Michael Clarke and Shane Watson has been a big boost for them. However, an in form Shane Watson has been a relief more than anything else for Australia as he imparts that balance to the squad. Settling into his new batting position, number five, he has shown glimpses of his class as a batsman. The big confidence booster for him was the brilliant spell he endured bowled by Wahab RIaz. The mental strength to come out of that spell and then score a 66 ball 64 to seal the win in a knockout was amazing by the big man.
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The new relatively solid number three and four in the batting line up, Steve Smith and Michael Clarke, has made the batting look daunting as ever. With Maxwell, Faulkner and Haddin coming in at number six, seven and eight respectively they could apparently chase any score put up on the board.
Australia’s bowling line up has been overshadowed by the verve of Mitchell Starc who has taken 18 wickets in the six matches he has played. With Mitchell Johnson too in the bowling line up they could run havoc in any batting line up of the world.
However, their concern persists, absence of a genuine spinner in their ranks. But with their aggressive bowling and flashy batting they are expected to cover that hiatus.
India on the other hand has made a miraculous turnaround from being winless in the Australian tour to being invincible in the World Cup winning all seven of the seven matches played.
Bowlers have scripted the beautiful turnaround for the Indian team as they bowled with flair and guile. Taking ten wickets in each of the seven matches they are the sole team to achieve that feat in this edition.
Taking as many as 25 wickets off the short balls, the pacers have not only bowled with line and length they have been aggressive too. Spinners too have been at their best in the conditions barely assisting them.
Batting, which has always been the string team in Indian line up, has come good as expected. The openers have done well with two centuries for Shikhar Dhawan and one for Rohit Sharma. They need to be at their best against the likes of Mitchell Starc upfront. The way these two play at the top will be consequential for India.
The middle order too has been at their best with everyone in the top six getting a hit. However, they would want their number three and four, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, to bat with more responsibility than they have.
The verbal duels are set to entail in an India-Australia clash with the fast bowler, Mitchell Johnson, declaring that he will be sledging the Indians even if David Warner choose not to.
Who will come out on top on the biggest stage, the craftsmanship of MS Dhoni or the aggressiveness of Michael Clarke. Tune in to the game on Thursday to find out.
Australia has no reason to alter with the team line up as this has been the winning combination for them.
Australia (probable) : 1. Aaron Finch 2. David Warner 3. Steve Smith 4. Michael Clarke 5. Shane Watson 6. Glenn Maxwell 7. Brad Haddin 8. James Faulkner 9. Mitchell Johnson 10. Mitchell Starc 11. Josh Hazlewood
India too is expected to be unchanged ahead of the big semi final clash.
India (probable) : 1. Shikhar Dhawan 2. Rohit Sharma 3. Virat Kohli 4. Ajinkya Rahane 5. Suresh Raina 6. Mahendra Singh Dhoni 7. Ravindra Jadeja 8. Ravichandran Ashwin 9. Mohammad Shami 10. Mohit Sharma 11. Umesh Yadav
The Pitch :
The match is to be played at Sydney Cricket Ground, a place where the Indians won’t mind to play their big match. Four matches have been played here till now in this world cup. We have seen scores of 408-376-111-133. In the first two matches team batting first won the match while the chasing team won in the last two.
India and Australia have played each other 13 times and sadly for India they have won just one game out of the 13. This will be the first time India will play at this ground in this world cup.
Australia is 1.44 to win the game and though they are expected to be the favorites with the team balance and home conditions favoring them but the gulf is a bit too much as Indians are no pushovers. When it comes to big games like these the respect for other team has to be kept in mind. For the Semis we are backing the reigning world champions to come good on the big day and make it to the finals.
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