Australia escaped a hostile spell of fast bowling from Wahab Riaz to make it to the semi-finals to face India. Australia had the better of India on various occasions during the Test and ODI series against India just before the World Cup. However, Indian team has improved by heaps and also has the advantage of knowing the Australian conditions well. It is estimated that around 70% of the stadium will be filled by Indian supporters, making it virtually home game for the side. Add to it, India’s good performances at the SCG in the past, it should be a close match.
Michael Clarke has been trying to fit in the team at the expense of George Bailey, who led the team quite well at the start of the tournament. The batting for the home side is a little shaky at present, which was quite evident against Pakistan in the quarter-final. India will have the edge as they have a quality spinner in the form of Ashwin. Suresh Raina bowl well in helpful conditions so he can be quite a handful. Australia has also suffered against Jadeja in the past so India is better off in the bowling on a pitch that suits spin bowlers.
Rohit Sharma was low on form in this tournament till his solid hundred against Bangladesh under pressure. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will need to build a good partnership at the top to ensure that India does not lose too many wickets at the start of the innings. The pace bowling for India looks well settled so India needs a good score to ensure that the bowlers can continue bowling in the same vein as they have throughout the World Cup.
Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc are two of the best bowlers in the World Cup, with the latter being the more destructive of the two. Starc has been taking wickets at the start of the innings but it may be a bit difficult against a solid Indian batting lineup. Clarke and Maxwell will look to make up for the spinner’s role but could well be the weak link in the attack. Kohli and, Raina and Dhoni play spin very well and will look to attack the thin spin resources in Australia’s bag. The contest should be exciting as both India and Australia are multiple time World Cup winners and know how to perform in big matches. The high quality spin option in the form of Ashwin provides India with an edge in the contest.
India – 3.00 @ Bet365