Saturday 29 March 2014 

ICC WT20 2014 Preview - India v Australia

India celebrate a wicket against Bangladesh
India have won three from three so far and must go into the Australia game confident of winning again
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

"When you come to shoot - shoot, Don't TALK!!" is exactly what Chris Gayle tweeted just after the West Indies' win against Australia.

No need for guessing, yes Gayle was referring to James Faulkner who tried to get under the skin of West Indies with his comments, saying "I don’t like the West Indians" before the match.

This old Australian strategy backfired and now they find themselves in a position where their destiny is not in their hands.

The misery of this Australian team in all probability is going to continue when they take on India tomorrow (30th March) who are in red hot form and have already qualified for the semis.

Australia, along with India, has the most destructive batting line-up but only Glnen Maxwell has looked in good touch in both games while Aaron Finch played a sensible innings against Pakistan.

The key players like David Warner, Shane Watson and George Bailey have all failed to fire up to now although the team has scored more than 175 runs in both of their previous games due to individual brilliance rather than a solid team effort.

Their bowling has been quite poor in the tournament picking up only nine wickets and conceding more than nine runs per over.

Brad Hogg is not the same bowler he used to be, young leggie James Muirhead is quite inexperienced at this level and this is where their main problem lies.

The Australians are not able to control the flow of runs or take wickets in the middle overs due to a dearth of quality spinners. The fast bowlers are conceding too many during death overs which is  adding extra pressure on their already struggling batting line-up.

For Australia to succeed against India, they have to score big and then hope their fast bowlers get quick wickets up front.

On the other hand, the Indian team is sitting pretty at the top of the table and are yet to lose a game. They have won all their games while chasing with ease thanks to brilliant performances by their spinners.

With small totals to chase, the batting has not quite been tested yet and it will be interesting to see how they respond if they are put in to bat first.

Virat Kohli, as usual, has been quite consistent and Amit Mishra’s form has been the best thing that has happened to India in this tournament. The men in blue should not be complacent since they have already qualified for the semis, they should look to keep the winning momentum going.

Shikhar Dhawan’s form is a concern and so is that of the Indian fast bowlers who are blowing hot and cold. The dew will play an important role and if they bowl second, the spinners will find it hard to grip the ball - that may give an edge to Australian team.

Frankly speaking I never thought before the start of the tournament that I will see both the teams in such positions as they are now but kudos to India for playing brilliantly.

Contrary to that, Australia’s famed batting line-up has failed to meet expectations and their bowling was always a matter of concern.

I hope they play good cricket tomorrow rather than talking nonsense. With India in great form and 100 per cent success rate, I will go with India to win the match but they need to have a plan to tackle Maxwell who remains their biggest threat.

© Cricket World 2014