Shikhar Dhawan and Josh Hazlewood are all set to clash for virtual quarter-final at Mohali © Getty Images
Shikhar Dhawan and Josh Hazlewood are all set to clash for virtual quarter-final at Mohali © Getty Images

India and Australia face each other in a crucial match in the ICC World T20 2016 at Mohali on Sunday. This match is a direct knockout. The team that wins this match will progress to the semi-final of the competition and the other team will be eliminated. India would have hoped to have qualified by now, but they lost their opening match against New Zealand, following which all their remaining matches have become a must-win. Australia too lost against New Zealand, but like India, they too have tasted victories against Pakistan and Bangladesh. The India-Australia clashes have always been exciting ones. Pramod Ananth lists the key battles for this tie. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia, Match 31, ICC World T20 2016 at Mohali

Shikhar Dhawan vs Josh Hazlewood: Hazlewood returned to the playing XI for the match against Pakistan and bowled very well. He finished with  1 for 26 in four overs. Dhawan has not been in particularly good form of late and Hazlewood could add to his woes. Hazlewood will keep the ball on the wickets and Dhawan may find it difficult to play with freedom, if cramped for room.

Virat Kohli vs James Faulkner: Faulkner was excellent in the game against Pakistan, where he picked up his maiden fifer. He was on a hat-trick twice, but failed to get three in a row on both occasions. He will certainly be pumped up for this match. Kohli has had the upper hand over Faulkner in the recent past and has also been India’s best batsman in the tournament. Their “friendly banter” during India’s tour of Australia couple of months back too adds spice to their battle.

Usman Khawaja vs Ravichandran Ashwin: MS Dhoni has preferred opening the bowling with Ashish Nehra and Ashwin. All the pitches in the tournament have offered some assistance to spinners early on. Khawaja has been in excellent form leading up to the tournament and has shown a lot of promise in the World T20 so far. India have always relied on Ashwin to pick up wickets, when needed the most. An early wicket and that too of in form Khawaja, will just be the start India will be after. READ: India vs Australia, T20 World Cup 2016, Match 31 at Mohali: Preview

Glenn Maxwell vs Jasprit Bumrah: Bumrah in his short career has become a Yorker specialist. He may have gone for runs in the initial stages of his spell against Bangladesh, but bounced back well in the latter stages, which gave India a slight advantage. Maxwell, a hard-hitter, will perhaps come in at a time when Australia need to score big, if they are to put a big score on the board. With Bumrah’s accurate yorkers, it may become difficult from Maxwell to get under them and clear the fence. He may hole out in the deep or get bowled in his pursuit to score some quick runs,

Rohit Sharma vs Adam Zampa: Rohit has just managed 33 runs in his three innings in the tournament so far and one gets the feeling that a big innings is just around the corner. There is no better time to come back into form than this game. Zampa has been excellent in the three matches so far. He won the man of the match award for his three-wicket haul against Bangladesh and followed it up with yet another clinical performance against Pakistan. Zampa’s economy rate in the tournament has been less than 6.5 and if he can strangle Rohit of some easy runs, Zampa can get the better of Rohit. But once Rohit gets his eye in, not only is he a treat to watch, but Zampa may face his wrath eventually. All will depend on how and when Steven Smith uses Zampa.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)