Game:- India v Australia
Competition :- Cricket World Cup 2011 Quarter Final 2
Venue :- Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad
Date :- Thursday, 24 March 2011
Start time:- 09:00 GMT
The second quarter final of the 2011 Cricket World Cup is a cracker of a match, a repeat of the 2003 World Cup final, the game between India and Australia has been billed by on-lookers as the ‘mini-final’ of the World Cup. The team that makes it to the semi-final from this clash at Motera is likely to go all the way. Bet365 have made India the favourites for this tie offering odds of 4/6 on them. But bet against the mighty Australians at your own peril.
India results – last few games – most recent games on top
v. West Indies (Won by 80 runs) Yuvraj 113, Zaheer 3-26
v. South Africa (Lost by 3 wickets) Tendulkar 111, Harbhajan 3-53
v. Netherlands (Won by 5 wickets) Yuvraj 51, Zaheer 3-20
v. Ireland (Won by 5 wickets) Yuvraj 50 & 5-31
India defeated the Aussies in a warm-up game before the World Cup began. Although they lost just one game in the Group Stage, the Indian outfit looked far from convincing. Their bowling attack came in for a lot of criticism as they failed to close out games after having scored 300+ batting first.
India are expected to go in with two spinners. R Ashwin will partner Harbhajan Singh. Ashish Nehra will most likely be overlooked. Zaheer and Munaf are expected to open the bowling. Virender Sehwag missed India’s last game with a knee injury. He will face a late fitness test. In his absence, Suresh Raina will make the eleven with Gambhir opening the batting with Tendulkar. Yuvraj Singh has been in scintillating form, both with bat and ball, and will be a threat to the Aussies. Dhoni, Yusuf Pathan and Kohli are due a big score.
Australia results – last few games – most recent games on top
v. Pakistan (Lost by 4 wickets) Haddin 42, Lee 4-28
v. Canada (Won by 7 wickets) Watson 94, Lee 4-46
v. Kenya (Won by 60 runs) Clarke 43, Tait 2-47
v. Sri Lanka (Match abandoned) Tait 1-23
Australia have won the last three World Cups. They are serious competitors. After having lost their last League game to Pakistan, they would be looking to bounce back instantaneously. As opposed to spin, the Aussie attack is made up of three high quality pacers in Lee, Johnson and Tait. Jason Kresja, the only spinner expected to play in the eleven, could be singled out by Indians for some stick.
Aussie batting looks strong on paper. Watson, Clarke, Hussey and White are capable of winning games with the bat. The form of Ricky Ponting has been a concern, but this is a golden chance for the Australian maestro to silence the critics.
Match Verdict: It’ll be bold move to predict against the Indians who would be playing under home conditions. But I do fancy Australia to show the world what they are made of.