World Cup 2011 – It’s Blue Vs Yellow At Motera




Cricket World Cup

Cricket World Cup

It just doesn’t get better than this! An India Australia clash in the knockout stages of the World Cup! After all the rivalry they have had – from the epic 2001 series to the historical 2003-04 series Down Under to the 2003 World Cup final to the monkeygate episode, India and Australia resume their rivalries on the biggest stage of them all – the World Cup. Both teams have had a similar progress pattern to the knockout stages with some similar results in the group stages – winning 4, losing 1 and sharing points in 1. Australia started their campaign in bright fashion beating Zimbabwe and then thumping New Zealand and it was after that the chinks in the armour began to show as they were stretched by Kenya and then the Canadian top order gave the quickies a beating to remember. The circle was complete as a top order collapse helped Pakistan to end their streak of 34 unbeaten matches in World Cups. India, like Australia started their World Cup with a thumping of Bangladesh but inability to finish matches meant that they could only salvage a tie against England. They beat the minnows Netherlands and Ireland without much of a fuss but the middle order couldn’t capitalize on the start given by the openers and they ended up on the losing side against the Proteas. The middle order failed once again against the West Indies but a strong comeback by the bowlers ensured that they finished second in Group B.

Both teams have had their share of positives and weaknesses. Australia’s strength undoubtedly lies in their bowling. The pacy duo of Lee and Tait can wreck havoc on any batting order and with the back-up provided by Johnson and Watson, the attack seems to be a deadly combo. Watson can run away with the game if he manages to get the starts he has been consistently getting with the bat. Ricky Ponting is due for a big score while the Michaels – Clarke and Hussey will be the key man as to how Australia play the Indian spinners. White hasn’t spent as much time in the middle as he would have liked to while Smith’s place in the team will always spark a debate.

India’s strength lies with their top order batting. Sehwag and Sachin figure in the list of the top 5 run getters of the World Cup and that is how crucial they are for India to get off to a good start. Gambhir and Kohli have got a couple of half centuries while India couldn’t have hoped for a better time to see Yuvraj in full flow. Zaheer Khan has been India’s best bowler by quite a distance while Munaf Patel hasn’t done too badly as the second seamer. Harbhajan would be eager for another tussle with Ricky Ponting while they are likely to continue with Ashwin to open the bowling.

Australia’s weakness has been their inability to score freely of the spinners and with the Indian team packed with off-spinners and part-timers, Ponting and Co. would find runs difficult to come by. India, on the other hand, have had their trouble over their approach in the batting Powerplay. Collapses like 29 runs for 9 wickets and 51 for 7 wickets in their last two outings is not something that the famed batting lineup would like to boast about.

Jason Krejza is likely to retain his place ahead of John Hastings on the slowish surface at Ahmedabad while Sehwag’s return to the lineup implies that Suresh Raina would be back on the bench in this do or die clash for both the teams.

India haven’t won a World Cup match against the Aussies since 1987 and they wouldn’t get a better opportunity to take revenge for their humiliating loss in the final exactly 8 years ago!

Probable Teams:
Australia: Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (Wicketkeeper), Ricky Ponting (Captain), Michael Clarke, Cameron White, Michael Hussey, Steven Smith, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, Jason Krejza.

India: Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Mahender Singh Dhoni (Captain & Wicketkeeper), Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel.

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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