About the Match
India and Australia will now position themselves for the knock-out match to be played on 27th March at Mohali after the Aussies defeated Pakistan by 21 runs; the hosts snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Bangladesh on Wednesday to keep their hopes alive and will give it their all to make it through to the semi-finals. The upcoming match on Sunday will definitely see the batsmen from both teams coming out all guns blazing but the team that can hold its nerves when pushed to a corner, will have the upper hand to emerge victorious.
The batsmen were tested against Bangladesh and they wickets in quick intervals; Dhawan, Kohli and Raina tried to build the foundation but were unable to keep the momentum going. 146 was a tricky total to defend but the bowlers combined well to take regular wickets; spinners Ashwin and Jadeja took 2 wickets each and bowled economically. However, it was Hardik Pandya who kept his nerves together to take 2 wickets in the last over to help India win the match by 1 run; Jasprit Bumrah was superb in his second spell to stifle the Bangladesh batsmen and Dhoni was stupendous with his wicket-keeping skills to cause the much-needed run-out in the last ball.
The victory was a close one but they will be motivated to do better in all departments of the game against a strong team like Australia; the spin attack looks good with Ashwin, Jadeja and Raina being consistent with their wicket-taking abilities. Bumrah, Nehra and Pandya have been effective with pace but need to put up a more disciplined effort.
The batting line-up has some concerns especially with the openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan; Kohli has been in good-form as seen in the game against Pakistan and with the likes of Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni and Jadeja in the middle order, India needs to shine with the bat here.
Faulkner’s 5-27 helped Australia demolish Pakistan during their chase for a humongous 194 and win the match by 21 runs. While Smith posted an unbeaten 61 off 43, Watson scored 44 off 21 that consisted of 3 sixes; Maxwell, Khawaja and Finch contributed well to keep the scoreboard ticking and bowlers Adam Zampa and Hazlewood took 3 wickets between them to stifle the opposition.
The Aussies upped their ante when required the most and excelled in all departments of the game to win the crucial match against Pakistan; however, their defeat against New Zealand exposed some gaps in their batting line-up being unable to chase 143 runs on a difficult pitch. The ground conditions here will be different but they need to be cautious against the brilliant Indian spin.
Overall, they have many match-winners on their side with both bat and ball; however, they must strategize well against the Indians, who have defeated them convincingly in this format of the game.
India is a formidable force to reckon with especially on home turf but they will need to play sensibly against the Aussies, who are excellent on the field; the contest could go either way but we feel that the men in blue will overcome their weaknesses to make it to the semi-finals