A mouth-watering clash is in store this Sunday with defending champions Australia squaring off against India with bragging rights and two valuable points on the line at the Kennington Oval in London.
Both teams are undefeated so far in the tournament and would love to get one over the other to reinstate their credentials as a potential winner. While Australia had Nathan Coulter-Nile and Mitchell Starc to thank for their stupendous efforts with bat and ball respectively, India put in a complete performance against South Africa to set the tone for the rest of their campaign.
With the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli still warming up to the conditions, Rohit Sharma took the responsibility upon himself to steer India home against a potent South African bowling unit with a classic century.
Virat Kohli (C), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma and Kuldeep Yadav.
Aaron Finch(C), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey, Adam Zampa, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson.
No changes are expected from the Indians after a comprehensive win over the Proteas. Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal were at the forefront of a clinical performance earlier in the week and will be hopeful of another win against Australia.
Shikhar Dhawan’s form since the warm-up games has been poor although his record in ICC events is noteworthy. While KL Rahul has seemingly adapted well in the number four spot, MS Dhoni and Kedhar Jadhav provide the balance in the middle overs.
Hardik Pandya’s quota of overs could be decisive against a strong Australian batting unit while Kuldeep and Chahal look to test them with attacking lines and a whole lot of variations.
Possible XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(C), KL Rahul, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedhar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah.
Australia did manage to scrape through to a win over the West Indies but will have to do much better against India considering the strength of their bowling unit. Aaron Finch and David Warner were brilliant against Afghanistan but succumbed to rash shots early on against West Indies. Their opening partnership will be crucial in setting the tone for the rest of the game.
Steven Smith has also looked good with the bat while Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis provide the impetus in the death overs. The duo of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins have been rampant with the new ball and in the death, paving the way for an interesting contest between them and India’s opening pair of Rohit and Dhawan.
Nathan Coulter-Nile should keep his place inspite of two wicketless performances with a sensational 92 in the previous game strengthening his case for selection while Adam Zampa will have a key role to attack India with some spin.
Possible XI: Finch(C), Warner, Khawaja, Smith, Maxwell, Stoinis, Carey (WK), Coulter-Nile, Cummins, Starc and Zampa.
India vs Australia, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Match 14
9 June 2019, 3:00 PM IST
Kennington Oval, London
Inspite of the overlying conditions helping swing upfront, the pitch should stay true to its nature throughout the day. Batsmen should be able to express themselves once they get in with the spinners also getting some turn in the middle overs. Rain should stay away on Sunday with no imminent threat of a shortened game.