Tuesday, July 16, 2024

With semis spot on line, Australia aim to bounce back against India


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Gros Islet, June 23: India will be out to derail Australia’s T20 World Cup campaign when they take on their shocked and under-pressure opponents in their final Super 8 game here on Monday.
A third straight win for India will not only make them the group toppers and send them to the semifinals, it will also substantially threaten Australia’s chances of progressing through to the semi-finals following the unexpected loss to Afghanistan in Saint Vincent on Saturday night.
Following the reverse against Afghanistan, Australia don’t have the destiny in their own hands and will be keenly tracking Rashid Khan’s team final game against Bangladesh on Monday night.
India, who have had to endure heartbreaking defeats at the hands of Australia in major ICC events, would like to see a pre-mature exit of their strong rivals.
On fine-tuning their game ahead of the knockouts, India don’t need to do much having ticked all boxes in their back-to-back wins against Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Both Rohit and Virat Kohli played innings of substance against Afghanistan, while Shivam Dube, who had not been able to perform his role, answered his critics with a crucial knock.
Number three Rishabh Pant has been getting dismissed off reverse hit often and it is something he would like to correct.The biggest positive for India in this tournament has been the all-round effort of Hardik Pandya, who has now come to the party with the bat to complement his incisive spells.
Kuldeep Yadav has taken little time to come up with match-wining contributions and he would be relied on for wickets in the middle overs.With the team playing three Super 8 games with as many days of travel in between, the management will be tempted to rotate players but is unlikely to do so.India, who arrived in Saint Lucia on Saturday night, chose not to train ahead of the Australia game considering the hectic travel involved.It will only be the second day game at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium.
The day nighters have produced high-scores here but in the previous game at the venue, England were not able to chase 164 in a day game against South Africa.
It has been the best batting strip of the competition but sun beating down on the pitch through the day is likely to aid the slower bowlers.Australia, on the other hand, have plenty to worry about going into the game. It was a flop batting show against Afghanistan and unusually Mitchell Marsh’s team had a forgettable night in the field as well.
Having logged only 88 runs in six games at a strike rate of 111, Marsh needs to lead from the front against India.With the ball, offie Glenn Maxwell needs to check his economy rate of 8.58 runs per over.
In terms of match ups, it will be interesting to see how Kohli fares against leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who has had the better of the Indian superstar on multiple occasions.
Australia played the extra spinner in Ashton Agar instead of Mitchell Starc against Afghanistan but that could change against India.
“It was an off-night for us in the field, and we own that. We’ll be back next game. It wasn’t an easy wicket but both teams played on this surface. (India next…) First and foremost it becomes clear for us. We need to win and no better team to do it against (India),” said the skipper in a very matter of fact way after the Afghanistan game. (PTI)


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