Ravichandran Ashwin has bowled very well throughout the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 © Getty Images
Ravichandran Ashwin has bowled very well throughout the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 © Getty Images

By Kushan Sarkar

Sydney: Former Australia pacer Stuart Clark feels the advantage India have going into Thursday’s semi-final is that they have “world class” off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in their ranks with the Michael Clarke-led side lacking a quality spinner.  READ: India, Australia gear up for high-octane ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 semi-final 2

“I think one place where India has advantage over Australia in this game is presence of Ravi Ashwin in their side. He is a world-class bowler and Australia, particularly don’t have a world-class spinner. Conversely, Australia will have guys who could be a bit quicker than their Indian counterparts,” Clark, who played 24 Tests and 39 ODIs for Australia told PTI during an interaction at the SCG, here today. India will struggle to match Wahab Riaz against Australia in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 semi-final: Joe Dawes

The 39-year-old, who had a dream Test debut for the Baggy Greens against South Africa, back in 2006, feels that in hindsight it might seem that Australia could have picked a specialist spinner.

“You can look at it in hindsight but they have picked their best 15. One has to understand that Australia do not have a frontline ODI spinner. Nathan Lyon has been a good Test spinner but has had very limited opportunities in one dayers,” said Clark, who made his Test debut at the age of 30.

Clark, who had played his first-class cricket in Australia for New South Wales, possesses a good knowledge about the nature of the SCG wicket.

“It has more bounce than it used to be earlier with a lot more life now. No matter which team wins the toss, it should put up a big score as it will be hard to chase over here,” he pointed out. The Indian bowlers according to Clark showed a lot more intent after going through the motions in the tri-series.

“The Indian attack is much better than what we saw during the ODI series. There are numerous reasons for that. Firstly, there has been more intent in their performance. During tri-series, it looked as if they were going through the motions a bit. With World Cup starting, there is lot more intent in their bowlers.

“Secondly, Mohit Sharma is the real find for India, who has bowled well at different stages of the game. Umesh Yadav has also bowled well. Mohammed Shami has come into life in this tournament. (Mitchell) Starc and (Mitchell) Johnson are fractionally quicker but Indian bowlers are good in their own right,” Clark, who now is the COO of New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL), said.