One of the best rivalries in cricket will be reignited this Sunday night as Australia do battle with India in the ICC World Cup. The game will kick off form 7.30pm this Sunday night (AEST) and we have a full preview and betting tips for the clash below!
After an Australian summer facing off against each other followed by a limited overs series in India, these two nations have seen plenty of each other over the past seven months, so this match promises to be a heated battle. India claimed their first ever Test series win in Australia and also picked up a win in the ODI series over the summer before the Aussies bounced back to win both the T20 and ODI series played in India in March.
Australia will feel confident in their ability to beat India heading into the game on Saturday night. After trailing the five match series in India in March 2-0, the Aussies fought back to win the last three games and the series in thrilling fashion.
Aussie No.3 Usman Khawaja was dominant in the series, compiling 383 runs at an average of 76.60 while Pat Cummins did the bulk of the work with the ball for Australia, picking up 14 wickets through the five games. Australia will have a few key additions that were missing during that series in Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitch Starc, which should bolster their confidence even further.
Australia looked down and out of their game against the West Indies on Friday night when they fell to 4/38 batting first. A fantastic fight back led by some stingy batting from Steve Smith (73) and some masterful stroke making from No.8 Nathan Coulter-Nile (92) helped the Aussies to a total of 288. A dominant performance with the ball from Mitch Starc, who claimed 5/46, helped the Aussies to grind out a win and move 2-0 in the round robin stage.
India got their campaign off to a hot start on Wednesday night as they downed South Africa in comfortable fashion. Bowling first, India captured two early wickets through paceman Jasprit Bumrah before the spin tandem of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav ripped through the middle order with five wickets between them.
The batting line-up was calculated in their chase of the 227 runs needed, leaving just over two overs to spare as Rohit Sharma produced a brilliant man of the match performance with 122 from 144 balls. Sharma was also dominant in both of the ODI series between the two sides this year, compiling 387 runs at an average of 48.37.
Virat Kohli had a quiet game against South Africa, scoring just 18 runs from 34 balls before going out caught behind to Andile Phehlukwayo.
A key aspect that has plagued Australia over the last few years in ODI matches has been their ability to fight back after bad starts. They look to have turned that around on Wednesday night. With Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins and Mitch Starc at 8, 9 and 10 in the batting order respectively, the Aussies have a line-up capable of scoring 300+ regardless of the start they get off to.
The Indians have the same strength when playing Test matches with the ability to play Ravi Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja in the lower order, but on the contrary, the bottom half of their batting order is a massive weakness in ODI matches. Hardik Pandya is still very unproven as an all-rounder batting at No.7 and the bottom four batsmen average less than 40 between them. Opener Shikhar Dhawan has made just one score over 32 in his last eight ODI matches against Australia and was a non-factor in their game against the Proteas.
All this means that so much relies on Sharma and Kohli at the top of the order to carry the scoring load and with the wicket taking ability of Mitch Starc in the power-play, we have to lean in favour of the Aussies. We think it’s highly likely that both teams get off to slow starts here and the Aussie batting line-up looks more capable of recovering from that.
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