2016 ICC World Twenty20 Group 2: Australia have a shout to eliminate hosts India
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | March 26, 2016
India v Australia
- ICC World Twenty20, Match 30
- Sunday, March 27th
- Play starts: 14:30 BST
- Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
- Live on Sky Sports 2
India face elimination from own tournament with loss
It’s win or bust for World T20 hosts India in their final Group 2 game against fellow cricketing heavyweights Australia, with only one semi-final spot left open.
So much is at stake here, and the outright betting being so close reflects that fact. Coral make India narrow odds-on 8/11 favourites, but the Aussies are 11/10 to dump them out of their own tournament.
The Baggy Greens have lost both of their Twenty20 Internationals in India to date, so must make history, with their hosts on a five-match victorious run against them in this form of the game.
Fantastic Faulkner bowling a worry
Aussie all-rounder James Faulkner took career best figures of 5-27 at Mohali’s Punjab Stadium as the men from Down Under eliminated India’s neighbours and bitter rivals Pakistan last time out.
This left-arm medium-fast bowler boasts a terrific World T20 tournament average of just 10.14 and, while there are others with smarter economies on show in India, he represents real danger to the hosts.
Faulkner is a terrific 3/1 price to be best with the ball for Australia here, ahead of more established international duo Josh Hazlewood (7/2) and Shane Watson (9/2), on what will be the latter’s last international appearance if the Baggy Greens fail to win.
Better batting needed from Aussies
Only Pakistan-born batsman Usman Khawaja has scored more than 100 runs for the Southern Hemisphere side at this tournament so far.
Australia are known as big hitters, but aren’t living up to their billing. Khawaja is a 6/1 shot in a best batsman wincast to continue his fine form in his native Subcontinent.
Baggy Greens skipper Steve Smith is an attractive alternative at 8/1, however, having smashed a key unbeaten 61 off 43 balls last time out. He needs to lead by example if the Aussies are to make history and eliminate India.
Bowlers must use experience of conditions
The hosts have underwhelmed in both departments, but perhaps the poorest part of India’s game has been bowling.
Nobody can know the pitches on which this tournament is played better, but Ravindra Jadeja is their leading wicket-taker with just four.
Spinning has perhaps become too predictable, but it’s the best weapon in the Indian arsenal, and all-rounder Jadeja is a 4/1 chance to perform best with the ball. Big name off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin must do more to justify his status as 5/2 favourite in this market.
Kohli continues to shoulder batting burden
Virat Kohli, like Khawaja for the Aussies above, leads the way at the crease for India. His tournament runs total of 102, including an unbeaten 55, is by far the biggest contribution made in this department.
Some support from others in the Indian order would be appreciated, but Kohli alone commands sufficient respect to be the subject of enhanced 11/2 wincast. He is the key man Australia need to get out.
Rohit Sharma has been particularly disappointing with the bat for someone with 10 half-centuries in Twenty20 Internationals under his belt, but is 5/2 to silence critics and perform best for India here.