Seven days to go. The buzz is certainly growing bigger and the Indian crowds are gearing up for some crunch games.
India go into the cup as favourites and a lot is expected of them ,especially considering the conditions they are playing in and the sudden thrust of energy and ability to win from dead situations that Dhoni and his set of adrenaline-high youngsters have showed over the past 20 months or so.
Second to none, of course, are Australia- on the back of a thumping series victory at home to a seemingly rising English squad.
This resurgent Indian side takes on a high-spirited Aussie side at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore tomorrow. It is termed as a “warm-up” game, but most people in India have already touted it as a potential practice for the finals of the World Cup! Call it what you may, the match definitely has a lot in store.
Bangalore is known for it’s sportive conditions and there will be particular players on either sides who will want to make the most of these conditions.
For the Indians, it’s pretty much cardinal to tell now that Yuvraj Singh HAS TO FIRE. The elegant stroke maker has been AWOL, to say the least. He has, however managed to keep a place in that line-up for his influence and experience at the top level, not to mention his economical bowling in the last few series. But with the return of Tendulkar at the top, that batting line-up is getting pretty tough to get into; thanks to the emergence of a promising world-beater in Kohli. And with the slots in the lower middle order thinning down because of Yusuf Pathan’s versatility, Yuvraj will definitely want to make a mark. And who better to do it against?
Captain Dhoni has also been short of runs and he’ll want to click, after India’s dismal batting in the South African one-day series. A lot rests on his role in that middle order. Also worth watching will be the performances of Sreesanth and Munaf Patel who, despite being around for quite a few years, are never as secure as they should be.
For the Australian team, the match will be no more than a revision from their rollicking performance down under. They will, however, be concerned about the loss of talisman Mike Hussey in that middle order, owing to a last minute injury. High on confidence, maybe; but they have a couple of blues of their own. Michael Clarke and Cameron White need to click in order to make up for the big void created in that line-up in the absence of Mike, as Callum Ferguson(who made an exciting entry into world cricket) has looked out of sorts ever since being plagued by injury.
All that said, Australia knows only one way to play their cricket- as an aggressive unit. Big gaping holes appear in that line-up, but as a team, they are definitely a force to reckon with- especially with the return of their skipper.
The match promises a lot and although a practice game, is sure to attract a decent amount of Bangaloreans- who know their cricket. Let’s watch the hosts unfurl some magic.