Can Australia snap India’s winning run?

DHAKA: Historically, few teams have been more ruthless in their demolition of the underdogs but, on Sunday, Australia will be rooting for the underdogs. For if Bangladesh don’t beat Pakistan in the afternoon, Australia, who have lost two close matches out of two, will be out of the tournament, rendering their remaining matches inconsequential. It will also take out all the sting from what the organisers would have thought would be a top draw: India v Australia on a Sunday night with qualification implications aplenty.
For India, though, this cannot be a dead rubber even though they have become the first team to qualify for the semi-finals. India will dearly love to keep their unbeaten run intact, and end top of their group so that they face the second-placed team from the other group in the semi-final. Despite whatever is going wrong with their administration, the India cricket team has put up a great show so far. Theirs are the only bowlers, other than Nepal’s, to have not conceded 140 in this tournament. They have got the right bowling mix for these conditions unless a team can take apart their quicker bowlers. They have not even lost a toss yet, which could have at least challenged their bowlers to bowl in the dewy conditions. To be fair to India, though, they haven’t won any of these matches because the opposition had to bowl with the wet ball; dew has hardly been a factor in Mirpur so far.
Australia are one side that can dismantle the Indian bowling – they have done so in their last two World Twenty20 meetings with India – but will they struggle for that motivation and that edge if Pakistan have already beaten Bangladesh and thus knocked them out even before George Bailey walks out for the toss?
George Bailey’s captaincy has come in for some criticism over the last two games, especially his failure to take the pace off the ball. When they failed to keep West Indies down in the second game, Shane Watson, who doesn’t provide that much pace, bowled just the two overs for 11 runs. He will be watched closely in the match against India.
India have chased their three sub-par totals with ease, but Shikhar Dhawan’s lack of form will be a bit of a concern for them. In New Zealand, he was allowed to cool his heels for one ODI, and he came back strongly in the Tests. Will India look to do the same now that the semi-final spot is sealed?
AUSTRALIA (probable) 1 Aaron Finch, 2 David Warner, 3 Shane Watson, 4 George Bailey (capt.), 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Brad Hodge, 7 James Faulkner, 8 Brad Haddin (wk), 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Doug Bollinger, 11 James Muirhead
INDIA (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan/ Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Yuvraj Singh/ Ajinkya Rahane, 6 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Amit Mishra, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Mohammed Shami
28th Match, Group 2
Australia v India
VENUE:  Dhaka
TIME:  | 19:00 IST