By Dhananjay Devasper
Super Sunday ensured that a Terrific Tuesday will be on the cards when Australia take on Pakistan and India clash with South Africa. Though both matches on Sunday were completely lopsided and didn’t quite live up to the billing, it threw the group open for the second semi-final slot.
Australia are in red-hot form and are the team to beat. Thanks to the efforts of their bowlers and a certain Shane Watson, they are firm favourites to win the match against Pakistan and are more than assured of a place in the semifinals thanks to their outstanding net run rate. They are also the favourites to win the title at this stage, though their middle order has yet to be tested.
Pakistan, on the other hand, needs to take a leaf out of India’s book after the beating they took at the hands of India. They have to raise their game to the next level when they take on Australia. If George Bailey decides to use this more as a practice match to try out a few options before the semifinals, he might make some team changes that might work in Pakistan’s favour.
Call it poetic or ironic, but India and South Africa clash on the birthday of the great Mahatma Gandhi. The Mahatma is connected to both countries as it was in South Africa that he was thrown off a train and where the first seeds of Satyagraha were sown. Whoever scheduled this World Cup certainly did a good job of ensuring that key matches, especially those involving India, were played at times when people can watch it. The fact that it coincides with a little bit of history along the way is an added bonus.
South Africa have had a mixed run in this tournament and now find themselves fighting for survival. The Super Eights have seen them falter badly. They allowed Pakistan to snatch a victory and an Australian hiding has left them in a spot of bother. They have not been able to rack up big scores in the Super Eights as well giving their bowlers a little less to work with. They will be counting on Richard Levi and AB de Villiers to come good in what could be their final game in the tournament.
India disbanded its five bowler theory to score a convincing win against Pakistan. Virat Kohli will be the prize wicket that South Africa will target. His red-hot form and his ability to switch gears is a huge bonus when India is looking at upping the ante. The rest of the Indian batting is more suspect, though the way they clinically dismantled Pakistan should provide them with the necessary boost.
The road to the semi-finals promises to be exciting.
(Dhananjay Devasper is an "IT guy" by profession and a sports fanatic at heart. He has an unbridled passion for sports and Indian achievements in sport. Extremely opinionated, he attempts offering perspectives around sports which are simple to understand and easy to relate with)