The story of these two teams in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 is somewhat contrasting. After thrashing England 12-1 at home and a successful tour of South Africa, Australia came into the tournament as the favourites courtesy the squad they had. But once the tournament started, nothing went the Aussies way as they became the first casualty to get knocked out of the tournament apart from Bangladesh and Netherlands. On the other hand, India came into the tournament after suffering a series of losses in the tour of South Africa, New Zealand and the 2014 Asia Cup. They were not the clear favourites before the start of 2014 ICC World Cup T20. But once the tournament started, they were on a giant killing spree. India are the first team to qualify for the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup T20. Both these teams of contrasting forms face off each other in the 2014 ICC World Cup T20 on Sunday, the match which is considered as a dead rubber. The Indians will look to carry the winning momentum into the semi-finals and Australia will look to put a spirited show before taking the flight back home. Here is what both the teams have in store ahead of the Sunday’s clash.
Head-to-Head in T20’s: Both India and Australia have faced each other eight times in the past with each team winning four apiece. In the three matches both these teams faced each other in ICC World T20’s, Australia came out victorious twice.
Pitch Report: The wickets at the Sher-E-Bangla stadium has been aiding the spinners since start of 2014 World Cup T20. India are packed with some world class spinners in their side whereas the Aussies bank on their pacers to do the job for them and that could be the difference between the two sides.
Weather Report: The weather might not be a concern for the game but the dew is expected to cause some problems for the bowlers as the game moves on. So it is likely that the skipper who wins the toss will opt to field first.
Inspite of scoring over 170 against the mighty Pakistani bowling and the decent windies bowling, the Aussies still managed to lose both their previous games. So it looks like their bowling is not clicking well as a unit. The primary reason for their poor bowling performance is their decision to play just a lone spinner and pack their attack with a bunch of pacers while the other teams prefer 2-3 frontline spinners in their side. Their pacers too were not upto the mark as they leak runs regularly. This adds more pressure on their batting. Their batting too looks awful as their destructive batting order failed to cash in in their previous games. Only Glenn Maxwell managed to impress everyone with his big hitting. Finch too looked impressive and the rest failed miserably as a team that led to their early ouster from the tournament.
As far as their game against India, they will look to accommodate both Brad Hogg and James Muirhead in the starting XI in the place of either Starc or Bollinger. After a series of failures, their batsmen will look to score some runs under their belt. David Warner will be their X-Factor against the Indian spinners as he has the shots to counter the Indian spinners.
Everything seems to have go in India’s way in the tournament as they stormed their way into the semi-finals. India’s spin trio, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli look in sensational form and have performed upto the mark and carried their team into the last four. Their only area of concern is the form of their opener Shikhar Dhawan and dasher Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj is far from his best and has completely lost his confidence in his game. Yuvraj at top gear will be a blessing in disguise for the Indians. Their ground fielding and catching looked to have improved and they will look to improve it further as the tournament is about to enter into its crucial stage. India will look to maintain their winning run going into the semi-finals.
With the kind of form India is in, there is no doubt that India will come out victorious.
David Warner and Shane Watson are due for big knocks. They have done it in the past against India and I’ll rather put my money on a good show from either of these two batsmen.
Yuvraj Singh is in due for a big knock and Sunday could be his day for playing an innings of his calibre.