In the second last match of World Cup 2015, team India is ready to take on mighty Australia in the semi-final clash today at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Indian side is brimming with confidence with 7 consecutive wins in the tournament but taking on Australia will become more difficult at this crucial time.
Significantly, Australia has never lost a World Cup semi-final, on the other hand India was able to win only one match against Australia at the Sydney ground. Thus, it wouldn’t be wrong to say today’s match will be a nerve-wrecking battle.
Let us take a look at the key match-ups that will announce one victor:
Warner vs Shami
In a riveting battle, David Warner vs Mohammad Shami i.e. a flamboyant batsman will be up against a transformed bowler. So far Warner has not been able to put up a good match in the tournament besides 178 runs against Afghanistan.
Warner’s out of form situation is a bit of a concern for Australia as other players like Aaron Finch are also not doing well. Thus, Shami's role will be crucial as he has become the highest wicket-taker in the World Cup so far. Shami has 17 wickets from six matches to his name. His strengths i.e. using the short ball and dot balls can work wonders against Australia.
Maxwell vs Ashwin
It is a known fact that Glenn Maxwell has a special liking for Ravichandran Ashwin since 2013.
Also, it is no hidden fact that Maxwell has been in top form in this tournament with 301 runs; he has also broken the century hoodoo too. His aggressive style of cricket can act against Ashwin who have been one of the best spinners in the tournament.
Dhawan vs Starc
This tournament has been one of the best for Shikhar Dhawan who is currently India's top run-getter in the tournament with 367 runs. He will be in direct contest with in-form Mitchell Starc who is Australia's highest wicket-taker. Thus it will be important to see how Dhawan will make few adjustments in his technique and take on outswinger Starc during the semi-final.
Raina vs Johnson
Touted as one of the most dangerous batsman of World Cup, Suresh Raina has developed his will to finish off games under pressure. Australia definitely sees him as somebody who can snatch the game away from the opposition. Thus, Mitchell Johnson's role becomes critical here who knows Raina's weakness of short ball. Notably, Johnson has scalped the most number of ODI wickets against India; also he has taken Raina's wicket five times in 14 matches.
Australia's batting vs India's death bowling
With India's death bowling and Australia’s deep batting, 2nd semi-final can turn out to be the best match of the mega event. It will be a litmus test for the Indian bowlers as Aussies bat deep. The quicks have to deliver thier best in the death overs to content the Aussies.