The most awaited clash of the ICC World Cup 2015 is finally here to decide the 2nd finalist of the 2015 ICC World Cup. The epic battle would be between the two members of the BIG-3 club. The iconic Sydney Cricket Ground will host the second semi-final of this edition of the World Cup. The highly awaited contest will be played between India and Australia.
By far, both these sides have found the largest fan base in World Cricket. India versus Australia is a rivalry within itself. This rivalry has been enhanced by their recent World Cup encounters.
In 2003, Ricky Ponting’s excellence led to the disappointment of a billion Indians. In 2011, the tables had drastically turned. The Indians, led by the enigmatic MS Dhoni defeated the Kangaroos, with a profound contribution from the lion hearted Yuvraj Singh.
However, in this article, we cover the 5 Things to expect from the India versus Australia Semi-final –
1. Big hitting:
Both the sides comprise of superstar batsmen. If there is Virat Kohli in India, then there is Steve Smith in Australia. Similarly, David Warner counters the flamboyant Shikhar Dhawan. The last time these two sides met in a bilateral series, all the batting records were shattered. Totals in excess of 350 were chased down by the Indians with utmost ease.
However, replicating such success in a World Cup semi final will be far from an easy task. The Aussie batting vigor is amplified by the presence of Glenn Maxwell. If Maxwell stays for a few overs, then the Indian bowlers better run for cover. As a whole, we should witness stellar batting displays in the upcoming match.
2. Mouth watering head to head contests:
In the recent Border-Gavaskar trophy, the head to head battle between Mitchell Johnson and Virat Kohli stole all the limelight. There were kisses blown, heated arguments, fuming stares and what not exchanged between the two superstars. Both were on top of each other. When this rivalry is carried forward on the World Cup stage, then viewers are in for a treat.
The Indian viewers would be eager to see Kohli pull the Johnson thunderbolts for fours and sixes. Another silent rivalry is building up as well. It is between Glenn Maxwell and R Ashwin. The two have had a history in the Indian Premier League. As of now, Maxwell holds the edge over Ashwin. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to watch this rivalry.
The Kangaroos have already made their intentions clear regarding sledging. Sledging in a way gets their juices flowing. James Faulkner and Mitchell Johnson have clearly been vocal, and said that they wouldn’t be shy in letting their mouths talk. The Aussies though, can expect a strong counter attack from their Indian counterparts.
The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will surely fight fire with fire. The verbal sledging done by the Kangaroos could stimulate the Indian batsmen big time, and it may even be an indirect benefit for them. Only time will tell though, who wins the mind games!
4. Importance of Indian spinners:
The twenty overs delivered by R.Ashwin and Jadeja will decide the fate of the Indians. A productive outing for them could mean constructive signs for the Indians. An off day though, could be disastrous for India’s World Cup campaign. The SCG surface has worn out because of the excessive cricket played. As seen in the first quarter final between South Africa and Sri Lanka, the wicket was slightly two paced and had variable bounce. The rough patch was already present as well. This rough can be exploited by R Ashwin and Jadeja, to strangle the Australians down. In the middle overs, it will be essential for the Indians to strike at regular intervals. If they fail to do so, then serious doom awaits them!
5. A Crazy Atmosphere:
The tickets at SCG for the second semi final have already been sold out. In what can be seen as a massive boost to the Indians, 70% of the tickets have been bought by the Indian supporters. The SCG is all set to be painted in a sea of blue. The Indians are the most passionate cricket fans, and their display for the same proves it.
At the SCG, we might witness a seriously crazy atmosphere as Indians will square up with the hosts. The constant cheers of the crowd will further add to the excitement levels. The chants of “India, India” would be clearly audible as well. With the pitch already supporting the Indians, and now the crowd factor being added too, this easily seems to be a “home” game for the Indians!
Only time will tell though, which team pounces on the other. Both the sides have precious talent up their arsenal. The two sides have played each other frequently in the recent past, but they will have to start from scratch for this game. Nonetheless, this game promises to be worth the excitement.