×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

T20 World Cup 2024: Australia in must-win situation against India

Australia, not so removed from being as exceptional, but vulnerable after a not-so-memorable loss to Afghanistan on Saturday, will have to put on their Sunday Best and hope India have a dank day at the office.
Last Updated : 23 June 2024, 14:59 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

Barbados: In retrospect, it’s probably a good thing that those pitches in the United States of America hid what the Indian team is truly capable of. 

Even as they scratched, edged and crawled laboriously towards small scores, they never once looked under pressure, but they didn’t reveal their latest avatar until Saturday against Bangladesh in Antigua.  

India is now more a machine than a team, and Australia will be wary when these sides come in contact at the Daren Sammy National Cricket stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia on Monday.

Australia, not so removed from being as exceptional, but vulnerable after a not-so-memorable loss to Afghanistan on Saturday, will have to put on their Sunday Best and hope India have a dank day at the office. 

It’s not likely, but then again, that’s what was said when they ran into each other in the 50-over World Cup final a few months ago. Australia were not pegged to win, and yet they did, handsomely so. 

Even if the players and the management insist that they have put that solemn night in Ahmedabad behind them, and maybe they have, it would be ideal, though, if they use that humbling as motivation to try and put one over the Australians. 

Moreover, they’re all-but through to the semifinals so they can play the former champions without much, save for pride, at stake. Australia are playing to survive.  

Also, India have barely been tested in the five games they have played so far so an Australian challenge before the semifinals, and maybe even the finals, would give the analysts of the team a comprehensive game plan going forward.

Speaking of analysis, four out of the seven batters who went out to bat against Bangladesh scored at a strike of 150 or more. That’s the change that was expected of them for over a year, and it looks like they’re getting a hang of it. 

Virat Kohli’s 37 came at a strike rate of 132.14 so that needs to be ejected from the collective narrative, but he did look in exceptional touch for the first time since landing in the Americas. And, typically, someone like Kohli can turn a knock like this into bigger ones in the days to come so that should appease any concerns regarding his batting order, his role or his mind space.

On the topic of mind space, no one is in a better place than Jasprit Bumrah. Nobody. 

The paceman with the mind of a not-so-eccentric genius has picked up ten wickets from five games at an economy of 3.42, an average of 6.50 and a strike rate of 11.4. 

If you don’t quite get what those numbers mean, these are numbers which most Test bowlers would be proud of these days, and this man is achieving that in T20 cricket.

Juxtaposing that against the numbers the Australian bowlers have put up would be unfair for they have been playing on batting-friendly wickets in the West Indies, but still, their best bowler is Adam Zampa, and he has 13 wickets an economy of 6.08 and an average of 11.23.

While these individual match-ups will play a role, India’s ability to adapt to the conditions in St Lucia will be tested. They didn’t seem to have a problem against Bangladesh in Antigua, despite spending the first two weeks or so in the US. However, these factors will matter more, especially against sides such as Australia. 

Australia have come to the World Cup with a plan and plenty of good talent at hand but have come undone. 

India have come to the World Cup with a plan and plenty of great talent at hand but could come undone. 

It feels like November 19 all over again, and yet very different.  

Teams (likely): India: Rohit Sharma (capt), Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wk), Surakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh. 

Australia: Travis Head, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh (capt), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 23 June 2024, 14:59 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT