3 years ago
Australia vs india second semifinal of world cup 2015 471 views
Australia has won 7 of the 10 World Cup matches it has played against India but the Asian side came out ahead most recently in 2011
MS Dhoni (c/w)
Michael Clarke (c)
Brad Haddin (w)
Preview: Second Semi-Final of World Cup
There are two reasons why Australia does not start overwhelming favorites in the WC semifinal against India on Thursday the weary end of the season fairly grassless pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground as well as India's competitive instinct fuelled by hunger and intensity lending a greater sense of balance to the high voltage clash.
A large section of SCG is expected to back Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team but the Indian captain will be well aware that his team and he will have to dig deep in their reserves to be able to stop Australia from setting up Sunday's title clash with their trans Tasman rivals New Zealand. If the teams twist up at the park by their A games fans could get a game to cherish.
India have had a fine run in the World Cup 2015 winning all seven starts but they will have to be well on top of their A game to be able to beat the strong and determined home side and get to within one match of having the chance to defending the crown a feat achieved only by the great sides of the West Indies and Australia.
To be sure it is not beyond Dhoni and his men. The top three batsmen Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli all relish the challenge of squaring up against the best bowling line up. If they can make bigger that to Thursday's massive showdown India can keep their tryst with the grand final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
India's bowlers have caught the eye by lifting their game and executing the plans estimably. Mohit Sharma's back of the hand slower delivery could be one the handiest weapons on the SCG track that is not expected to be aid bowlers overtly. The slowness of the pitch could make off spinner R Ashwin's variations of pace and Ravindra Jadeja's accuracy key too.
After spending an evening sweating under covers as it rained over Sydney the pitch was back under the charge of its caretaker’s curator Tom Parker and his colleagues. Between the sessions of rolling spread over the day the pitch had a number of curious visitors including Australia coach Darren Lehmenn Chairman of Selectors Rod Marsh and his colleague Mark Waugh.
Clearly the curator's attempt has been to ensure that the pitch would be even-paced unlike in the quarterfinal where it started off being dual paced and challenged the Sri Lanka batsmen. It would be significant for the team batting first to ensure that not too many wickets are lost in the mandatory powerplay.Shane Watson's show of character must count as a positive spin-off of Australia's engaging quarterfinal skirmish with Pakistan or a fired up left arm paceman Wahab Riaz to be more exact. His attendance in the middle order does lend experienced muscle to go with the youthful exuberance of Glenn Maxwell.
New Zealand's entry into the title round more so as squad that has won all its eight matches in the World Cup 2015 can work as an extra spark for Australia known to have a long history of intense antipodean rivalry. But as a Michael Clarke Australian captain pointed out repeatedly his team did not need such external factors to find the drive to win the game.Of course Australia have not lost an ODI in Sydney in the last three years but that must be tempered by the knowledge that only one of those games the recent victory over Sri Lanka has been played in the month of the March. And it is of some meaning that India beat Australia in March 2008 with Rohit Sharma sharing a century stand with Sachin Tendulkar.
The South Africans felt the crowd pressure a couple of times in the tournament notably against India in Melbourne on February 22 and New Zealand in Auckland on Tuesday. Will it be the Australians' twist to be playing away game at home given the hordes of Indian supporters who will turn up at the SCG on Thursday?
For this one time we can believe the truism that is often spouted in limited over cricket. let us accept that the team that keeps its nerves in check and expresses itself under pressure on Thursday would earn the right to take that flight to Melbourne for the WC final against New Zealand.
Match: Australia vs India Second Semi-Final World Cup 2015
Date: 26 Mar 2015
Match Start Time: 3: 30 AM GMT
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground (Sydney)