A most awaited game of the quarter final has arrived with India taking on Australia at Motera. An epic battle is expected between four time world champion Australia and one of the tournament favorite India, with both team look forward to register a win and move to Mohali to play Pakistan in the 2nd Semi Final on 30th of March 2011.
So far performance from both teams is not as expected they have fought hard to reach till this stage and by considering the bowling and batting line up from both sides a high voltage game on the card.
Both teams have some problem whether it’s middle order collapse or some patchy bowling. But they know a bad game here will knock them out of the tournament. India who has been considered as one of the batting lineup to watch has struggled to play their full quota of 50 overs in the Group games against test playing nation and that has costed them quite a few games at the end of the day.
Against England when they were on charge to reach 350 plus suddenly a late collapse restricted them to 338, against South Africa they have lost 9 for 29 and against West Indies they have lost their last seven wickets for just 51 runs. India certainly needs to improve in this area. Because of there vulnerability they have allowed their opponents to bounce back in the game from the winning positions.
Australia on the other hand have more worry of concern with their Captain Ricky Ponting struggling with form, Cameron White looking out of sort and late order batsmen is not good enough to cope up on the spinner friendly track as we have seen in the game against Zimbabwe as well as against Pakistan.
But all that would be put in the back-burner in the make-or-break scenario at this textile city's huge arena in front of a sell-out crowd of 50,000 most of whom would be baying for the Aussies' blood.
Australia who is currently ranked number one team in ODI has lost his aura after the retirement of Hayden, Glichrist, McGrath and Warne but they still is s very good side and a team to beat.
M.S.Dhoni and Company would certainly be fancying their chances of knocking the defending champions out of the tournament and stay in the hunt to bring back cricket's most coveted title to India after 28 years. However, for that to happen they will have to be right on top of their game as the Aussies would be coming hard at their top order batting and bowling. Betting sites already predicted India to win this but it's not as easy as many peoples and betting sites are thinking at the moment.
Pitch and Conditions
The Pitch at Motera looks dry and flat. So team winning the toss is likely to have bat first and put the opposition under pressure by putting up big score on the board. In later part of the inning spinner is likely to get purchase from the wicket, so toss will play an important part in this game.
Likely Playing XI for both teams (Match is schedule to begin at 14:30 PM India Time)
Virendra Sehwag is yet to declare himself fit but decision on him will be taken just before the game, if he is declared unfit then India is likely to go with same XI otherwise Virat Kohli or Suresh Raina any one of these two is likely to miss the game.
Australia on the other hand look to play with four seem attack, which means John Hastings is likely to get the game. Also Cameron White who is struggling with form may be replaced by David Hussey because he will add new dimension to the team by providing spinning option.
India: Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (Captain & WK), Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, R Ashwin, Munaf Patel.
Australia: Brad Haddin (WK), Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting (Captain), Michael Clarke, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Steve Smith, John Hastings, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait.