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India, Australia renew rivalry in World Cup semis

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  26 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Some interesting facts
Here are some facts about India and Australia in the World Cup
* This will be the first ever meeting between India and Australia in a World Cup semi-fil.
* The two teams have faced 10 times in the World cup with Australia having the upper hand with a 7-3 advantage.
* Australia have never lost a World Cup semi-fil. They tied one game against South Africa in 1999 and have won five in 1975, 1987, 1996, 2003 and 2007.
* Ajay Jadeja is the only Indian World Cup centurion for India against Australia in the World Cups.
* If the semi-fil between two sides is abandoned then India will progress to the fil as they finished higher in the group phase.
* Out of the 13 ODI played between India and Australia in SCG the visitors won only once. That solitary win came in the first fil of the tri-series in 2008. India’s win-loss ratio of 0.083 against Australia at the SCG is their worst at any venue where the two teams have played more than two ODIs.
* India’s record against Australia in World Cup knockouts is 1-1. They lost to Australia in the 2003 fils and beat them in the quarter-fils in 2011.

Sydney, March 25: An undefeated India will face their biggest challenge of the cricket World Cup when they take on co-hosts and four-time champions Australia in the latter’s backyard at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) here on Thursday.

There has been a lot of talk about the match ever since the two teams made the last four during the previous week. Australian players have been playing mind games that their much touted pacers will deliver “short stuff” to Indian batsman, who are traditiolly 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.

The Aussies also have not stopped short of reminding the defending champions of their dismal tour Down Under this Australian summer.

India lost the Test series 0-2 and did not even win a single match in the One-Day Intertiol (ODI) tri-series, also involving England.

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 tourment, against New Zealand. The quarterfil against Pakistan also showed that their batting order is brittle, something that Indian pacers would like to exploit.

India’s bowling has been the main reason for their success in the tourment. Pacers Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma have been brilliant.

They have done nothing extraordiry, just stuck to the basics by bowling on good line-and-length with accuracy and consistency.

The SCG wicket traditiolly is slower in comparison to other pitches in Australia. The track could also prove to be friendly for Ravichandran Ashwin, who has been one of the best spinners of the tourment. The offie could prove to be the difference in the semifil clash.

When it comes to the batting, the top order has struck for India. When they failed, the lower order came good, especially while chasing.

So the bottom line is that Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s top-six batsmen have shown their class and ability to get runs and they should be able to cope with the much touted Australian pace attack.

Don’t forget Rohit Sharma scored his double century against Australia and also a hundred in the tri-series before the World Cup.

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 semifils 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. (IANS)

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