Through to the semifinals after three very good games, India on Sunday take on an Australia side that has a very slim chance of qualifying.
With the conditions suiting them and their spinners performing splendidly, India have looked to be the best team so far. Skipper MS Dhoni has won all the tosses and bowled first, something which he wanted because of the dew factor; chasing, his batsmen have played responsibly every time.
Somewhere down the line, though, there is a feeling that India needs a tough game before the semis, and this could probably be the one. Australia have batted splendidly but their bowling has not been up to the mark in the close games.
Given the conditions in Mirpur, their bowling combination hasn’t been the best. Playing four seamers in spinner-friendly conditions has hurt them under pressure.
I was surprised that Brad Hogg was given a miss against West Indies. Sure, he had a poor outing against Pakistan but one must remember that teams from the subcontinent are more adept at handling spin. With the Mirpur pitch providing more and more turn with each passing day, Hogg will hopefully be back against India.
With James Faulkner coming in at No 7 and Brad Haddin at 8, the Aussies bat deep. Their top four will prove to be a good test for India’s spinners ahead of the semis, as will the dangerous Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell.
The writer is a former India captain