India, Aus showdown today

India, Aus showdown today

The game of permutations and combinations is over and the equation has become fairly straightforward for India — win the Super 10 game against Australia on Sunday in what is a virtual quarterfinal and fly out to Mumbai for the World T20 semifinal.

The task, however, may not be as simple. Then again, beating Australia never is. At the start of the tournament, India and Australia were favoured to go through to the last four from Group 2 but things have come to such a stage that only one of these two teams can progress now. Either way it will be an upset of massive proportions.

Not until they flexed their batting muscle in their game against Pakistan here, Australia appeared far from a settled unit. Their batting order was mired in confusion while bowling resources, handicapped by the conditions, looked limited.

After an unexpected loss to New Zealand and a nervy win over Bangladesh, Australia didn’t inspire much confidence but their big win over Pakistan would have given them a world of confidence.

India’s progress in the tournament has been even more perplexing. Batting, their traditional strength, has flattered to deceive whereas bowling, their perennial weak link, has held more than its own. After a shock defeat to New Zealand and a nervy win over Pakistan and a lucky escape against Bangladesh, India will be a little wary of their opponents.

That said, India may also draw some confidence from the way they pulled off that one-run win over Bangladesh in Bengaluru. While India were extremely fortuitous, the fact that they never gave up despite being on the brink of defeat should hold them in good stead in a high-octane contest against Australia. 

Also, India somehow manage to lift their game when they come up against Australia, a fact not lost on Shane Watson. “India are very dangerous and all of a sudden their team can click, and with all their world class players when they click, they’re nearly unbeatable,” he remarked. “We know we’ve got to put them under a lot of pressure straight up to try and give them less of a chance of clicking as a team.” 

India-Australia duels have made for some fascinating contests over the last few years and on Sunday here at the PCA stadium, these two heavyweights promise another cracker.

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