With both India and Australia topping their respective groups, both teams will be charged up ahead of their Super eights clash on Friday, September 28, when they meet at Colombo’s Premadasa Stadium.
If their mediocre showing against Afghanistan was a wake up call for India, Dhoni’s did shed their slumber against England and the dominant win by 90 runs would have boosted their confidence in no certain manner. Regardless, the Indians lack a settled eleven considering the inconsistent form of their openers. Sehwag has been totally off-colour and Gambhir’s showing against England was an exception to the rule. Pathan opened the innings against England and it will be interesting to see whether Dhoni will prefer to continue with him at Sehwag’s cost; that would also give the Indian captain five front-line bowlers to serve his cause. But Sehwag is always a dangerous player who can win a match off his own bat that any skipper would think twice before dropping him from such a crucial game.
Rohit Sharma’s return to form would have had Dhoni sigh with relief as the team has been overly reliant on Kohli recently. The bowling line-up could see an upheaval. With Harbhajan and Chawla striking it rich against England, Dhoni might be tempted to opt for the pair at Ashwin’s cost. Dinda’s poor showing against Broad’s men could bring Zaheer khan back into the reckoning to share the new ball with Balaji.
Australia have already shown glimpses of their form of past years when they strode the cricket world like a Colossus, under Steve Waugh. Warner and Watson at the top of the order can blow away any bowling attack. Mike Hussey, Matthew wade and Cameron White lend great solidity to the middle order but the lower middle order should be a worry for the Aussie camp with neither (skipper) George Bailey nor Glenn Maxwell having spent much time in the middle. Dan Christian playing as an all-rounder could compensate for the lower order batting worries, somewhat.
In the bowling, Watson has been in top form while Brad Hogg has also been a handful. Starc and Cummins are yet to establish themselves and one of them could concede his place to the more experienced Clint McKay.
Friday’s match is a crucial encounter in group 2 that also has Pakistan and South Africa and the losing team on the day would have an uphill task qualifying for the semi-finals. India’s better record in the shortest version of the game should give them the edge.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.