It is a brutal reality that Team India had not been able to beat Australia across Tests and One-day Internationals prior to the World Cup. But former Aussie cricketer, Ian Chappell, feels that the World Cup semi-final between the two countries could be a close encounter.
Already initiating a mind game, Australian cricketers Glenn Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood have reminded India of their recent poor show against Australia through the summer. However, Chappell opined that the World Cup co-hosts might be surprised against the much improvised Indian team.
He said, “What happened in tri-series doesn’t matter. Sydney is the best venue for India to play Australia. This is different Indian team under MS Dhoni and the bowlers are thinking about taking wickets”.
The Australian skipper Michael Clarke has realized the way India have played so far in the World Cup and not only remained unbeaten so far in their all 7 encounters, but the Indian bowlers have bowled out each and every team in their journey to semi final.
This is true that Australians have got a distinct advantage of playing in their home ground and they are having a psychological edge of a far better track record against Team India in Australia, but the way MSD and company have shown their determination and the way their bowlers have shown quality improvement, the event is definitely going to be a close encounter.
However, many other elements such as winning of toss, the level of fielding and the presence of the respective supporters will also make a huge difference.
Also the very fact that Pakistan’s bowler, fiery Wahab Riaz got a very good response over the pitch during their match against Australia on Friday has further mobilized Chappell’s viewpoint, who said “Australia were shocked by Wahab and India should take a page out of that. Ravichandran Ashwin is bowling really well and the SCG pitch will help him. This is a 50-50 game for me.”
Thus tight fielding, self esteem, determination and unabated fighting spirit might prove to be few key words for rejuvenated Team India currently riding on the supreme wave of confidence.