India vs , Group A, ICC Champions Trophy 2009 Australia
Date: 28 September 2009
SuperSport Park, Centurion, South Africa
Kick off: 12:30 GMT (Local Time 14:30)
India will feel the pressure more because this is a must-win game for team . Following their 54-run defeat at the hands of arch rivals India Pakistan, India has no other option of winning the game. Australia Australia, on the other hand, will still have a chance of progressing to the semi final even if they lose to . So, India India has to hold on to their nerve if they are to give their best against . Australia
"We all know that we need to play better when we take on India in a couple of days' time," Ponting told a news conference, saying he was concerned that his side had conceded 36 extras as they bowled out West Indies for 225.
"Today we had a few too many extras. We expected the new ball to do a bit more for us than it did and the bowlers probably got a little bit carried away with that," he added.
There was concern over Indian pace attack in the absence of experienced Zaheer Khan who is missing the tournament through shoulder injury. All the hopes of Indian bowling attack were around Harbhajan Singh-led spin attack. However, Indian spinners also conceded many run in the first game as Pakistani batsmen, specially Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf, exploited Indian spinners. Harbhajan conceded 71 runs in his 10 overs picking up only one wicket. Yusuf Pathan also suffered the same fate as he conceded 56 runs in his 10 overs with a wicket. Pacer Nehra picked up 4 wickets and brought a good start for
, but overall he did not look threatening. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni also admitted that his bowlers conceded too many runs. India
"Whatever field you gave them, it didn't work. You can give the field but can't really bowl for anyone. We bowled very short and gave away a lot of runs towards backward point region. Our bowlers had bowled on bouncy wickets (in the lead-up to the game) and suddenly had to bowl on a track where they needed to bowl up. They didn't adjust," Dhoni said.
"We gave away too many runs. The shots were going in the area when there was no field. It was really tough out there.
Now, it is pretty much clear that both
India and will look to avoid the mistakes they did in their opening game. There is no doubt, Indian spinners have to take front seat when it comes to their bowling attack and pacers would have to pick up couple of early wickets so that spinner can get the Aussie batsmen already under pressure. Nehra is doing well, but other two paces RP Singh and Ishant Sharma have to help Nehra with their performance. I do not think that Australia would bring any change in their bowling attack, even though you might say that RP could be replaced by Praveen Kumar. However, I do not think that it would be a viable option for India . India
In the absence of Sehwag and Yuvraj, Indian batting line up has lost significant amount of strength. However, injuries are part of the game and you have got to accept it with positive attitude. I have no question about Indian batting line up, but I think,
need to bring a change in their batting order. After the opening pair, I think, India lacks the presence of someone who can rotate the strike rate and at the same keep the wicket at the one end. Yuvraj Singh has been playing the role for India with sheer amount of success over the years. Now, in his absence, I think, Suresh Raina should be deployed in this role and he should come at no. 3 or no. 4, but not after that. He has the natural ability of playing shots and can exploit the bad ball with ease. India
Virat Kohli has the potential, but he is still under performed. So, I think, it would be better if he comes at no. 5 and Dhoni should come at no. 6. If
India chase a big total like they did against , then I think, they could play a gamble by sending Yusuf Pathan in the top order in order to exploit the fielding restriction. Anyway, overall I think, veteran Sachin Tendulkar and his opening partner Gautam Gambhir, who scored a well-played half century against Australia , would have to play crucial roles in the top order because a good start from the opening pair would set up a platform for the other batsmen. Pakistan
, they have a very good batting line up. The only problem is that their batsmen have to click against Australia . Shane Watson may be a makeshift opener, but along with Tim Paine, Watson has been pretty much successful in this role. However, Australian openers need to show more consistency. Two experienced batsmen Hussey and Ponting are also in the top order and then comes talented India . In the middle order, Ferguson has the likes of hard hitter Cameron White, who has recently got his debut century in ODI recently, and all rounder James Hopes who is also capable of playing big shots. In the lower order, Australia Australia has the service of bowling all rounder Mitchell Johnson who appeared as the savior of Australia against West Indies.
Overall, Australian batting order is pretty much threatening. Their pace attack incorporating Lee, Siddle, Johnson and Watson may have failed to perform expectedly, but specialist spinner Nathan Hauritz looked dominating against West Indies. If Centurion wicket provides any help to the pacers, then it is expected that Indian batsmen have to face strong challenge from Australian pace attack. However, a spinner friendly wicket may not be ideal for
because Indian batsmen are master of spin bowling and I do not think that Hauritz will be able to dominate over them. So, it is pretty much certain that Australia will be looking for a spinner friendly wicket. Still, they have to worry about the performance of their spinners who failed against India , even though their counterparts Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi successfully exploited the condition and created huge problems for the Indian batsmen. Pakistan
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To be honest, I think,
seems to be favorite considering a number of facts. First of all, India Australia came to with the experience of playing in English condition which is always helpful for pacers. Against West Indies, they did not face any quality spin attack, but against South Africa , Australian batsmen have to face a quality spin attack. Yes, I agree that Indian spin attack was under performed against India Pakistan, but you can not expect that the same thing is going to happen when is going to play in a crunch game like this. From this point of view, I think, India India has little edge over . Well, that does not mean that I am writing off Australia ’s chances in the game. What I would like to say that Australia holds an advantage, but Australian team has the quality and talent to overcome that gap. Overall, I am expecting an exciting match between India India and . Australia