The second semi-final match between defending champions India and hosts Australia will be held on Thursday, March 26 at the Sydney Cricket Ground at 2:30 p.m. local time.
For Australia, this will be their seventh times going to the fianl for the world cup while for defending champions, it would be their fourth time to try to hold on to the cup they won last time.
Australia defeated Pakistan in the quarterfinals to reach the semifinals with Josh Hazlewood taking out four wickets, and sending Pakistan packing fromt the nation with a humble 213.
However, Australia did face panic situation when pacer Wahab Riaz troubled Shane Watson with short pitch deliveries. The failure of some crucial catches by the Pakistani fielders led Australia romp home another victory to join the semifinals.
Watson’s unbeaten 64, Steven Smith’s 65 off 69 balls, Glenn Maxwell’s 44 off 29 balls sealed the victory for Australia whose professional performance anyday stnds aloft.
India, on the contrary, managed it against Bangladesh but not without running into panic situations when Rohit Sharma was caught at 90 but Rubel Hossain’s delivery was dismissed as “no-ball” by Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar. It soon led to huge uproar among Bangladeshi fans and TV replays showed that the ball was within limit to call it a legitimate ball.
Bangladeshis called the umpiring standards unbelievable and allegations of “match-fixing” too emanated from some quarters.
Next when Shikhar Dhawan took an acrobatic catch of top Bangladeshi batsman Mahmudullah at the boundary, many Bangladeshi fans believed that Dhawan touched the boundary but the umpires said no favouring India. Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina too said that her country was “made to lose.”
So, driving out Bangladeshi team not by ball but by luck, India entered the semifinals and if the umpires are made to believe that the home team should win, then India may loose the semifinals but Dhone’s determination and resolve to bring the cup home again may make the team win somehow.
Otherwise, Australia and India played 10 times in the World Cups and always Australia remained ahead of India with good record. It won 7 of those 10 matches and India only won 3 times. Last time, India defeated Australia in the world cup in 2011 at the quarter-finals stage by 5 wickets.
Players to Watch:
Australia: David Warner and Josh Hazlewood
India: Shikhar Dhawan and M.S. Dhoni
India will win the toss and opt for bat first and it may reach its iconic figure of 300+ in 50 overs after losing at the most 7 wickets. Australia will be tested to chase the high run rate but a batting collapse in the beginning may dampen their spirits. However, Maxwell will stay at the crease at death overs to make a close match to India before losing out. Dhoni team looks like all set for the final.