Two teams, which have enjoyed similar fortunes in the ICC World T20 2016 shall lock horns today in Mohali to fight for a semi final slot. Both India and Australia have been outplayed by New Zealand, tested by Bangladesh and fed easy victories by Pakistan. Both have 4 points each, and tonight’s victors shall have the green light for the semi finals. While India shall be buoyed by the way they had swept the Australians clean 3-0 in the T20 series in January, the Aussies would not have got a better platform for some cliched ‘payback’!
Unchanged India v Unsettled Australia
Despite the apparent wobbliness in India’s performances in this tournament, the fact remains that their T20 team has remained unchanged in 2016. The same XI that vanquished Australia in their own backyard shall be, in all probability, on the field tomorrow. This stands in sharp contrast with the Australian T20 side which has not yet found a stable combination to go with. Except Andrew Tye, all of their 15-member squad has been used up in the last 3 matches. Even though this may not be a clear disadvantage in the shortest format, India’s stability do give them a better chance in this virtual quarter final. A confident win against Pakistan in Mohali, however, would have done Australia a world of good. India, on the other hand, are fresh from a nerve wracking solitary run victory against Bangladesh. The Men In Blue would be desperate to see their top 3 get back in form. Rohit, Raina and Dhawan have been monumental failures in this ICC World T20 so far. For the team to win against the Aussies in a high pressure contest, the top 3 MUST fire.
Is Mohali going to be spin-friendly?
This is clearly a million dollar question that could single-handedly decide the fate of tonight’s contest. The venue has historically been known for high scoring pitches, just like the one dished out in the Australia v Pakistan game a couple of days back. However, the home team would be eager to discover a spin-friendly track that can straightaway bring Ashwin, Jadeja and Raina in business. Australia, on the other hand, would like to avoid spin as far as possible. With only Adam Zampa and part timer Glenn Maxwell in their bowling ranks, the Aussies are handicapped in the spin department to some extent. Besides, the weaknesses of their batsmen while facing spin were amply accentuated by New Zealand in Dharmasala last week.
Irrespective of the technical aspects of the game, viewers and fans would be hoping to get a cracking contest between the two behemoths of T20 cricket.
India v Australia – Match details
Venue – Mohali
Start time – 19.30 (IST)