The stakes are always high when it comes to an India vs Australia show, anywhere in the world. It’s no different in the 2nd semi final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 too! The two title contenders lock horns with each other on Thursday, March 26, in a high voltage clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The two sides last met in a warm up game at Adelaide, in which Australia emerged victorious by 106 runs courtesy a whirlwind century by Glenn Maxwell.
Thursday’s clash shall thus present India with the opportunity to avenge the defeat in the warm up game and also seal a place Sunday’s final! Australia, though, are not going to make it easy for the Indians!
India will try to settle old scores with the Kangaroos
Glenn Maxwell recently came out in the media to remind the world that India could not manage a single win against the Aussies throughout their 2 month long tour Down Under. This run included a four Test series, the ODI tri series, and also the warm up game ahead of the World Cup!
The reminder, true though it may be, is bound to infuriate the Indian camp who are definitely thinking it is payback time. The resurgent Indian team, however, has been a completely different story from the one that faced Australia on all those three occasions.
Mohammed Shami is no longer the wayward pacer who bowled short balls and conceded runs at will. Rohit Sharma is no longer the misfiring talent that he was even a couple of months back. Shikhar Dhawan is not a sitting duck anymore. And, needless to say, Virat Kohli is all set to get under the skins of the Australians just as he had done during the Test series.
MS Dhoni has found renewed purpose following the overhaul that has characterized his unit, since the start of the World Cup. The Australians better be wary of all these factors when they face the Men In Blue on Thursday.
Australia – Recent history makes them favourites
The Australians were all over the Indians in the couple of months preceding the World Cup. Almost everybody was scoring runs, and everybody was getting the wickets! And the Aussies took that tempo into this all important tournament. Michael Clarke’s comeback from injury has acted as a moral booster for the co hosts who have surgically made it past the group stages and the quarter final, to set up an epic date with India in this semi final.
David Warner will be ready to act as familiar nemesis for the Indian bowlers at the top of the order even as Glenn Maxwell promises to unleash his trademark carnage late in the innings. And Steven Smith and Michael Clarke shall be there to temper such hard hitting with sensible batting in the middle order. And, who can forget Shane Watson? Watto must have had the experience of his life after surviving the fiery spell from Wahab Riaz in the quarter final. That surely is going to give him a whole lot of confidence in facing Shami and Co. on Thursday.
Mitchell Starc occupies the top slot in the wicket takers list for this World Cup. And he would be ready to rattle the Indian batsmen with some of his lightning quick bouncers and viciously in-swinging yorkers. Mitchell Johnson is also a huge threat and at any moment he can come alive with some really sharp fast bowling!
The fact that Australia lack a quality spinner and India lack a left arm quick is well known to every cricket analyst by now. The two teams, however, are going to have to make do with the resources in their aresenal. And these resources are strong enough themselves! Strong enough to keep cricket fans glued to the action in Sydney on Thursday!
Match Facts – India vs Australia
Venue – Sydney Cricket Ground
Start Time – 14:30 (local), 09:00 (IST), March 26th, Thursday – Mark your calendars !