SYDNEY: After the first round of semi-finals where New Zealand beat South Africa with four wickets, it’s time to see the big fight between India and Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground. Who will bat against New Zealand on March 29 at Melbourne Cricket Ground for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 trophy?
Well, while we keep our fingers crossed to see the ‘Men in Blue’ on Sunday at MCG, let’s take a glance at the star players of both the international giants playing tomorrow.
It’s been more than a month that India and Aussies have played marvelous cricket indeed, and now, Cricket World Cup 2015 has come to a level where it would be a ‘Do or Die’ situation for both the teams.
India (2nd rank in ODIS)
India has not even lost a single match in World Cup 2015 so far and in fact, taking a major turn, the bowling and fielding of the team has shown magnificent results this time. With 70 wickets from seven matches, MS Dhoni’s boys who probably did not show their deadly skills earlier are topping the charts now.
Mohamamad Shami fronts the wicket-takers and has proven tremendously effective with the new ball. While the Indian pacers know exactly on how to trap the batsman, spinners like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja too know the talent of chipping away at wickets.
The lethal combination of Indian pacers and spinners are charging the other teams heavy in this World Cup fever.
On the other hand, India’s one of the biggest strengths has always been its batting and with players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina who have delivered match-winning knocks, it is certain to keep high expectations from the team tomorrow.
The major boost for the team is that the Mr. Cool Captain, MS Dhoni has as well managed to spend good time in the middle and delivered great performance with the bat as and when required. If we talk about his knocks, particularly against West Indies and Zimbabwe, they were without any doubt incomparable.
However, the Captain will once again have to show his real side to the Aussies if the top-order of his team is not able to set the ground on fire tomorrow. Also, a major role tomorrow will depend on his captaincy and with years of experience, the Semi-Final battle of his team against Australia may well be his biggest challenge yet.
Players to watch out for:
Mohammad Shami: Total – 7 Matches, Wickets – 17
Shami who is in great form and will test the top order of the four time champions which is not very habitual of pace and bounce from Indians.
Virat Kohli: Total – 7 Matches, Runs- 304, Century – 1
The young and aggressive player looks forward to score a big number against Australia.
Ravichandran Ashwin: Total – 7 Matches, Wickets – 12
28-year-old Ashwin is likely to leave Aussies extremely frustrated.
Australia (1st rank in ODIs)
The co-host of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Australia finished second in Pool A, however that barely reflects the striking games played by the team.
Under the captaincy of Michael Clarke, the Australian fighters have combined the bowling, fielding and batting well in most parts of the tournament.
While the four-time champions lost a nerve-racking competition against finalist New Zealand in the leagues, taking the game too seriously, the Aussies then picked up extremely well and in their match against Pakistan, the team won with six wickets and almost 16 overs spare.
It’s time for a big face-off tomorrow between India and Australia. After defeating Pakistan in the Quarter Finals, Clarke while speaking about their challenge opposite India expressed, “The Indians have been here for long and they are aware about the conditions very well. They have been playing strong cricket and Dhoni has been leading them great. We expect a strong challenge.”
Players to watch out for:
Glenn Maxwell: Total – 6 Matches, Runs – 301, Century – 1, Fifties – 2
Mitchell Starc: Total – 6 Matches, Wickets - 18
Starc will be the key players of Australia against India.
David Warner: Matches – 6, Runs – 288, Century – 1
It seems that a long innings is due for Warner. If not trapped soon, India likely to land in trouble.
Steve Smith: Total – 6 Matches, Runs -241
Responsible batting from Smith can throw India out of Finals.