Amit Kumar

India and Australia, top two sides in the ICC ranking will confront in all important QF tie which will decide their fate in the ongoing World Cup.

Team India must avenge the 2003 World Cup final drubbing at the hands of Kangaroos, who demolished India by 125 runs. On the other hand, Australia will eye to retain their domination in the World Cup.

Australia have performed well in all their matches and their batting and bowling has been superb throughout this World Cup. Australians have been struggling in their spin department and skipper Ricky Ponting is not able to get his form right.

This might be the only concern for Kangaroos. Fielding is surely their big advantage over India as Dhoni’s men have a long way to go in that area.

After registering a magnificent win against West Indies, Indians are mentally and psychologically strong for Thursday’s game and will take the advantage of playing at their home ground.  

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar has a great average against the Aussies. In 67 ODIs against the Australia, Sachin has scored 3005 runs at an average of 46.23. This tally includes 9 hundreds and 14 fifties. This is one of the reasons to give Ricky Ponting and company some headache.

Indian legend has amassed 17955 runs and requires just 45 runs to become the first batsman to complete 18,000 runs in ODIs.

India’s backbone Yuvraj Singh (284 runs + 9 wickets so far in the WC) is all set to become the second Indian all-rounder to complete 300 runs and scalp ten wickets in a world cup competition. The 1983 WC winning skipper Kapil Dev is the only Indian all-rounder to have performed the same feat in the 1983 World Cup - 303 runs + 12 wickets in eight matches.

Yuvi has scored 7973 runs in his glittering ODI career and requires 27 runs more to complete his 8000 runs in ODIs.
 
On the other hand, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni requires 74 runs to complete 6000 runs in ODIs.
 
While Delhi boy Gautam Gambhir requires 101 runs to complete 4,000 runs in ODIs.
 
The Kangaroos and the Indian tigers are currently ranked number one and two in the ODI rankings respectively.
 
Records between India and Australia:
 
Head to Head: India's winning percent against Australia is just 36.45 in ODIs - 35 wins against 61 losses (8—no-result games). Australia's success percent is quite healthy - 63.54.
 
ODIs in 2011

Australia's winning percent is 83.33,  with 10 victories out of 13 played (NR 1).
India have won 6 and lost 4 out of eleven contested - winning percent being 59.09. (Tied 1)
 
Overall World Cup

Australia have won 55 and lost 18 out of 75 played (NR 1 & Tied 1) - winning percentage 75.00.

India have won 36 and lost 26 out of 64 contested (Tied 1 & NR 1) - success percentage 57.93.
 
Pitch Report: Motera pitch considered to be batting friendly, things are favorable for Dhoni if he wins the toss and elects to bat first and set a healthy total for rivals. Chances to score good runs are foreseen.
 
Star players: Sehwag’s inclusion in the team is doubtful due to an injury but if he will be in final XI, the team will have a devastating opening pair—Virender Sehwag and master blaster Sachin Tendulkar—who can give a massive opening start to the team.
 
Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar can achieve another milestone on Sunday by hitting his 100th international hundred, which he missed out at Chennai.
 
The Indian star moved to 99 centuries. The legend has scored 51 tons in Tests and 48 in one-day internationals in his dazzling and sparkling career.
 
Dhoni may play six batsmen at Motera and will aim to set a huge total against Kangroos. Yuvi, Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir will be the main arms for Dhoni’s force, which can play a crucial role in the middle order and can give strength to acquire a burly score for the team.
 
Yusuf Pathan’s inclusion in the team will be certain as he has a good average against Aussies. He has the ability to take the modest run rate to a muscular one.
 
Dhoni can seek help of experienced Bhajji and young turner R Ashwin, who got two wickets in his first World Cup match against West Indies with a favorable economy rate. The Indian duo will get good turn on the pitch and can create trouble for the batsmen at Motera.
 
Besides, the team has the advantage of having part-time spinners like Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj who have the potential to take a few wickets.
 
Teams:
 
India (Probables): Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain and wicket-keeper), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, S Sreesanth, Piyush Chawla, R Ashwin, Ashish Nehra.
 
Australia (Probables): Ricky Ponting (captain), Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, Cameron White, Steve Smith, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Jason Krejza, Shaun Tait, Callum Ferguson, Tim Paine, David Hussey, John Hastings.

 

JPN/Bureau