Sachin Tendulkar will be eyeing his 100th ODI hundred against Australia at Moterast © Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar will be eyeing his 100th ODI hundred against Australia at Moterast © Getty Images

 

By Dileep V

 

India and Australia meet in a mouth-watering clash at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad. Both teams have had similar passage to the knock-out stages. India lost to South Africa and tied with England, while Australia lost to Pakistan and the match against Sri Lanka was rained off.

 

Head to head

 

Australia have an edge over the Indians with 61 wins in 104 matches. Their record in India is also good with a 23-17 win-loss record. India have beaten Australia just twice in World Cups, but have a better record in knock-out matches. The last time they played them in knock-out of the CB series in Australia, Indian won both the finals to claim the trophy.

 

India and Australia have also contested in quarter-finals twice, with India winning both. Incidentally, both the wins were in the ICC Champions Trophy. They met the first time in 1998 in Dhaka, where Sachin Tendulkar’s all-round performance (141 & 4/38) ensured India’s passage to the next stage. India’s hero in the second win was Yuvraj Singh, whose 84 helped India win in Nairobi in 2000

 

Matches India win Australia win No Result
Overall 104 35 61 8
In India 44 17 23 0
In World Cup 9 2 7 0
Knock-out matches 16 7 9 0

 

Middle order woes for both teams

 

Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj and Virat Kohli have been in fine nick in this World Cup, but they have not been scoring collectively. Tendulkar has two hundreds in the tournament, while Sehwag and Kohli have one each. The middle and lower middle order have been a main concern, with Gautam Gambhir, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yusuf Pathan and Suresh Raina failing at important junctures of the match. What has been the main bother are the repeated collapses in the slog overs.

 

Shane Watson and Brad Haddin, the Australian openers, have been very consistent – both have three fifties in this World Cup to their credit. Australia more had difficulty in getting the middle order to contribute, the chief culprit being their captain Ricky Ponting. He has just 102 runs at 20.4 with a highest score of 36. The middle order has so far garnered two half centuries, both coming from Michael Clarke.

 

India and Australia batting performance in this World Cup

 

Batting Position Average Strike rate 100s/50s
Openers (1-2)
India 56.25 110.59 3/1
Australia 54.40 85.67 0/6
Middle order (3-5)
India 44.19 90.18 2/5
Australia 38.50 77.93 0/2
Lower Middle Order (6-7)
India 30.67 75.10 0/1
Australia 22.17 107.26 0/1

 

Pace working for both the teams

 

Though the subcontinent is supposed to assist spinners, it’s the pacers who have done exceptionally well in this tournament. Zaheer Khan has been outstanding with15 wickets at 14.86 per wicket. He has consistently got breakthrough when the team desperately needed it. Yuvraj’s part-time left-arm spin has fetched nine wickets, while Harbhajan Singh has failed to deliver, picking just six wickets at a high average of 41.16

 

The Australian pace trio of Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait have picked up 12, 10 and 10 wickets respectively. The strike spinner Jason Krejza has struggled in conditions he was supposed to thrive and so has Steven Smith’s leg spin.

 

India and Australia bowling performance in this World Cup

 

Batting Position Wickets Average Economy
Pacers
India 25 21.52 5.66
Australia 34 21.56 4.26
Spinners
India 23 37.74 4.90
Australia 7 54.86 4.60

 

Motera

 

Out of the 20 matches hosted at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad 11 have been won by team batting first and nine while chasing. Australia have a good record at this venue winning three of the four matches, while India have a 5-7 win-loss record on this ground.

 

Tendulkar has a decent record on this ground, scoring a century in four matches. But the other players haven’t had a great time in the middle. Dhoni has one fifty, while Yuvraj, Sehwag and Gambhir haven’t registered a half century.

 

The average score on this ground is 245, but under floodlights it soars up to 262. For India the average score is 256, while for Australia it’s 231. The ground has hosted four World Cup matches and the average score is 219.

 

Everything points towards a cracker of a match.

 

(Dileep.V is a Scouser fan, Sports freak, Movie buff, Laggard Quizzer and dreams of setting foot on Anfield one day)

(Dileep.V is a Scouser fan, Sports freak, Movie buff, Laggard Quizzer and dreams of setting foot on Anfield one day)
Pictures © Getty Images