It will a Super Sunday for cricket loving fans as match 14 is played between India and Australia at London’s Kennington Oval.
After their good win against South Africa in their opening game, India’s confidence is high – but they cannot afford to take the defending champs lightly.
Australia showed us why they are still the best in this World Cup 2019 competion, it is mainly because of their never say die attitude.
In Thursday’s match against the Windies, Australia was in a spot of bother as Aaron Finch, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis failed to cope with the short deliveries bowled by the West Indies bowlers.
It took a special innings by Steve Smith, Alex Carey and Nathan Counter-Nile to save Australia the blushes. The former Aussie captain Smith played a magnificent knock of 73.
Smith was equally supported well by the keeper-batsman Alex Carey.
After Carey’s good knock ended on 45, it was special innings from Counter-Nile, his 92-run knock ensured Australia could reach a defendable score.
While defending the score of 289, Mitchell Starc damaged the West Indian batting line up by picking five wickets and, in doing so, became the fastest to reach the milestone of 150 scalps in ODIs.
India should be wary of Starc. In English conditions, he will be very lethal. India’s main worry is the form of Shikhar Dhawan. His batting against the left arm pacers is what makes Starc a strong contender to pick up his wicket.
Dhawan failed to score in both the warm-up matches and the opening match against South Africa. His loss in form might open the door for KL Rahul in that opening slot.
But for now, KL Rahul is preferred at number four in this line-up. He scored a decent 26 runs against the Proteas in that opening game.
Rahul is in good nick, so why waste his form at the number four position? Dinesh Karthik or Kedar Jadhav may qualify for that slot.
India needs an opener who is in good nick, just like Rohit Sharma. He scored a fighting century against South Africa in that opening game. He fought that tough period while Kasigo Rabada, Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo used the seaming conditions well. These three bowlers generated the bounce and swing well from that wicket.
Sharma also got lucky a few times, but the all-important thing was that he hung around and stayed unbeaten until the end. He built some important partnerships with Rahul and MS Dhoni to see India through to a win in their first game.
Now, Sharma needs to keep that temperament in this game against Australia. His form for India in this World Cup is important. As is the form of skipper Virat Kohli and former skipper MS Dhoni.
Kohli looked good when he batted for his 18 runs, only dismissed due to great catch taken by Quinton de Kock behind the stumps.
MS Dhoni played well for his 34 runs, but he couldn’t finish the game like in his heyday. His form is important for India as he can hold the innings when top order collapses.
The Indian bowlers are in fine nick, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar did a great job against South Africa. Kohli will hope that these bowlers continue their dominance against Australia’s batsmen too.
On the other hand, The Aussies will want runs from their top order. Warner and Finch are expected to give their team a good start in their game against India on Sunday, but the openers failed to put runs against West Indies.
The middle order also succumbed to the short pitch bowling. Khawaja, Maxwell and Stoinis need to handle the short-pitched bowling well.
Australia will expect a similar fight back from Smith. He was the one who held the innings together when the half of the side was in the pavilion. He was the one who mastered the innings with Carey and Counter-Nile.
The latter two played well and will be expected to do the same in their next match on Sunday.
Australia’s pace battery is the toughest to face in this competition, owing to swinging conditions in England.
Bowlers like Starc, Counter-Nile, Stoinis and Pat Cummins are the most lethal fast bowlers. They are good when the ball swings in the first few overs and these bowlers can reverse swing the ball when it is old. This reverse swing helps them to pick up wickets and contain runs in the last few overs.
Adam Zampa is another bowler who can’t be taken lightly, he has done well against India in the past and on Sunday too he will make a mark on that game.