Sydney: An undefeated India will face their biggest challenge of the cricket World Cup at the SCG on Thursday. The mighty Aussies will seek to take revenge of the 2011 quarter final match at Ahmedabad. The Men In Blue are pepped up to challenge Australia at down Under.There have been sledging, mind games and strategies all around. The media had their scoops with both Dhoni and Clarke’s men. Australian players have been playing mind games that their much touted pacers will deliver “short stuff” to Indian batsman, who are traditionally more comfortable playing off their pads.
Looking at the mind games being played by Australia and the calm displayed by the Indians, it gives one an idea how the two teams are preparing for the clash.
India will have many scores to set against the Aussies after they suffered a series defeat against the Kangaroos in Australia a couple of months ago.
However, come Thursday, the co-hosts will be facing the same men but with a different mentality and attitude. This Indian team is on a seven-match winning-streak, shoving aside everything that has come their way. It won’t be the same easy run that Australia had this summer.
The World No.1 side, on the other hand, have lost a match in this tournament, against New Zealand. The quarterfinal against Pakistan also showed that their batting order is brittle, something that Indian pacers would like to exploit.
Apart from Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin will also have a key role to play. Ravindra Jadeja will ad the X factor to the side. With the kind of batters upfront, Dhoni can give a shrill o any pace attack of the world on his chosen day.
The only thing that makes the match 50-50 is that Australia are playing at home. But they are not exactly happy that they are playing at the SCG and the stadium would be a blue of humanity.
For people who believe in statistics, they will easily bet their money on Australia. The co-hosts have won 12 of their 13 ODIs against India at the historic ground.
Also, Australia have never lost in the semifinals of the World Cup, having won five and tied one.
But come Thursday, it will be the on-field performances and not stats that will matter.