India is in a great position - they have already qualified for the semi-finals and comfortably so. Australia on the other hand have had a disappointing outing. They have lost both the matches they have played so far - to Pakistan and West Indies. They did come in playing some good cricket but have flattered to deceive. And in both the games, they were in a position from which they should have won the games. But things have not gone their way and they find themselves almost out of the tournament. At the time of writing this blog, Pakistan looks like they will beat Bangladesh comfortably - and if that happens, Australia is out.
In this situation, what can India hope to get from this match -
- Momentum. This is one of the most important aspects of team sports - and something fans don't necessarily understand well. It is impossible to tinker with your performance levels - up and down - at will. This is like a ship and you cannot turn it back and forth in high seas. Dhoni understands this well and therefore he will be keen to keep winning. Like they say - 'winning is a habit'.
- A tough match. Australia will be playing for pride and will come hard at India. India have had really easy outings - all three matches have been easy wins for India. A hard-fought match against Australia will be great for the Indians.
- Intensity. India has played the last 3 matches with great purpose and intensity - in spite of a lot of distractions from off field controversies. It is important that India maintains the intensity in this match and into the rest of the tournament.
- Batting practice for Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj Singh. Both these players are match-winners on their day. And both of them have been really struggling. Shikhar has tried to hit his way out of trouble and Yuvaraj has tried to block his way out of trouble. And both have failed. It will be great if these guys come back in form - not just for themselves, but also for India. Remember these guys are left-handed batsmen. With Rohit, MSD and Kohli being right handers - these guys playing well means that there is left-right combination at the crease for a long period. And that is really difficult for the opposition bowlers.
Unless there is an injury issue, I don't see Dhoni changing the playing XI. Let us hope India gets a good tight outing and ends up winning the match against Australia.
Remember - you can play Playcall during the match today. This is a game where you take captain's decisions when the match is live.
Download the android app - http://bitly.com/1lc2hlJ
or play online - http://www.fantain.com