Australia too good even for Strong Indian Team: India vs Australia
India vs Australia : Well began is just half done, Australia has started well. The team that was in deep rut a year back, the team has managed to hit peak when its ascendancy of the ODI cricket was challenged.
Return of Old Australia
If 2015 winning team was dominant en route to the finals and winning World Cup, then match against West Indies must stutter most ardent followers of the cricket. It was reminiscent of old Australian team finding escape way to win when the unit is down and out of match, Australian team in last 12 edition of World Cup have lost 5 times four wickets for score below 50 but on all occasion managed to win.
It was one such day at 79-5, but old guard Steven Smith never laid down and slowly with Alex Carey then Nathan Coulter Nile took Australia to the position of win.
Return to form of key players
Smith was unflappable while Coulter Nile managed all bouncers, short pitch test. Smith will be a big nemesis for India having a record of 609 runs in 12 ODI innings at 50 and wouldn’t mind facing the team he scored mountains of the run. Who can forget the 105 in World Cup 15 semi-final to knock out India? With Warner coming off a good IPL, and 89* in the first match and in-form Aaron Finch to mix, Australia top order is going great guns.
Return of Mitchell Starc
While you can talk about umpiring howlers, the fact is Australia cameback whenever Windies landed its best punch. Whether it was breaking partnership of Shai Hope-Shimron Hetmyer or Pat Cummins getting well set Shai Hope. Even Starc proved a stark difference in the end by taking two wickets in 46 overs of dangerous Jason Holder and Carlos Braithwaite. The talisman Starc is back. Moreover, replicating 2015 WC performance will put in him league ahead of Glenn McGrath. With his first five-wicket haul since 2015, and becoming fastest to 150 ODI wickets, Starc looks like regaining magic touch of 2015 WC.
An injury-free Nathan Counter Nile is an asset with the bat and ball in Australian lineups. With Nathan Lyon he adds up to the perfect rhythm of limited over cricket.
Does Australia have any profound weakness?
A big No. They passed the test of spin against India, Pakistan playing in the subcontinent and against AFGHANISTAN. If at all quality pace attack comes into play, Australia has enough batting depth. Even the No.11 batsman who can bat. So they can post a match-winning score for their bowlers to throw fireballs.
If at all any weakness it was the fitness of the critical player-David Warner, Steven Smith which looks good at the moment. However, an injury of Usman Khawaja, Australia kept Shaun Marsh in reserve who scored two centuries in last five ODIs in England. Do they have to look further? No.
In Stoinis, they have all-rounder to build an innings and explode in the end. Moreover, the ball can bowl in the death overs as well. A complete package!
With ten wins in last 12 ODIs and win over No.1 ranked England in warmup match. Australia has passed the acid test in a bid to protect its throne.
The match against India gives them an opportunity to bully the big dogs of the World Cup on the way to knockouts.
Kangaroos have chased and scored 350, defended average score, held nerves in crunch moments. Thus, five times Champions look like burying opposition on its way.
Should they make any changes ?
The squad looks complete, and there will be discussion over the inclusion of Jason Behrendroff given India’s vulnerability to left-arm bowling. Who can forget his debut T-20 match taking 4-21 troubling India’s top-3? Moreover, with Coulter Nile going wicket less in the last two games, should Australia reconsider any change? Not as of now. Jason is good with the new ball and hardly tested as first change bowler. Coulter Nile experience of 8 ODI against India and his recent batting exploits favours him to be given a longer rope. There is no place for a second specialist spinner, Nathan Lyon. India showed they are better players of spin by not conceding wickets to spin duo of South Africa and taking them for six an over. While the pacers kept things tight taking 115-4 of all over’s they bowled.
War of Words starting again?
With win the old Australian mind games has also returned. Team should be wary of after all talks about the spirit of the game etc. Counter Nile said Australia would get Gayle within few deliveries. Cummins backed up statement taunting Gayle as Mr.World Wide to be easy wicket. With new India expect them to give them back if an off-field confrontation does happen. No one would mind either!
Without any tinge of weakness on paper and given India’s middle order and long tail. Are Aussies overwhelming favorites? Yes, Australia starts as a team likely to win the game in tomorrow’s India vs Australia match. However, India does have a weapon that can be unleashed to counter the Australian might. The India vs Australia match will in fact give a hint about the future of 2019 World Cup.
Pic Courtesy: InsideSport