Mitchell Starc has been in great form with the ball for Australia. Source: AFP/foxsports.com.au
Despite coming into the tournament off the back of three defeats from their four most recent Twenty20 International matches, Australia has emerged as a genuine title contender following two easy wins in the group stage of the competition. Things only getter tougher from now however, with the 2010 runner-up playing their first Super Eights match against an Indian side that defeated England by 90 runs at their most recent outing.
Shane Watson has been Australia’s star performer in the opening week, top scoring against both Ireland and the West Indies, as well as taking five wickets across the two fixtures. His opening partner David Warner will be looking to replicate the run scoring feats of his counterpart, having twice made a start at the top of the order. The hard hitting left hander was particularly devastating against the West Indies, taking 22 runs from one Ravi Rampaul over before edging a wide delivery from Fidel Edwards and it is surely only a matter of time till he gets a big score.
Mitchell Starc has been the other Australian bowler to impress in Sri Lanka, with five wickets from his side’s two group matches. The left arm paceman has been the best Twenty20 bowler in the world in 2012, having collected 38 wickets from just 17 matches. He will take the new ball in what is expected to be an unchanged lineup.
India opened their campaign with a 23 run win over Afghanistan before resting Virender Sehwag , Zaheer Khan and Ravi Ashwin for the game against England with their qualification for the Super Eights already assured. Gautam Gambhir found some form with 45 runs at the top of the order, while Virat Kohli continued to impress with another good innings.
With Harbhajan Singh taking four wickets when Ashwin was rested against England, coach Duncan Fletcher and captain MS Dhoni have several selection headaches going into this clash. Ashwin is likely to come in for Piyush Chawla and Zaheer Khan will replace Ashok Dinda but Harbhajan’s form may force Yuvraj Singh or Suresh Raina out of the side to accommodate the return of Sehwag at the top of the order.
Australia and India have met in six Twenty20 International matches for three wins apiece, although all of Australia’s wins came in the past four meetings between the sides. India won the most recent clash, at the MCG in February, by 8 wickets.
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