#BleedBlue: Having the world cup semi final against Australia in hours from now, I’m really feeling the heat and feeling nervous as a hardcore Indian cricket fan. It’s going to be such a competitive game. Though Australia does not have their best XI this tournament, they have always played well as a team which mitigates all their other weaknesses.
Considering all the statements quoted by the fellow Australian players, to quote a few as Mitchell Johnson voiced out “ I would be the sledging face for Australia”, Glen Maxwell –“They have not won a game in the series played in January against them in the same soil” etc..Steven Smith –“ India still have the scars of the defeat”. I truly feel these statements are just to sensitize the situation to hype up and to create a war of words. These are pure mind games which the Australians will carry to the ground. They are just setting up the stage right here and they are pretty good at it.
I would say we need to thank all the Australian players for stirring up our Indian players, mainly our Hero, our Big match player – Virat Kohli. I’m sure he is a man to be rubbed. He loves to be treated that way, he in fact enjoys such a pressure from the opposition and he converts that to his strength’s to perform better and to get the best out of him. He is our go to guy in all the big games. He has been the player who has never disappointed us in the must win high pressure games. I personally thank all the Australian players for voicing out such statements which in fact has helped and will help our players to be on fire right from the word go !!!
I believe we as a team have performed extremely well in this tournament, our bowling unit lead by Moahammed Shami looks powerful filled with fire, pace and bounce. Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma have performed tremendously well alongside Shami. They have bowled well collectively as a unit and fielded equally well. It’s not about one bowler doing the job, it’s about how everybody in the team is able to keep the pressure mounting on the opposition which leads them to commit mistakes and to give away their wickets. Our fast bowling unit has done it to perfection well supported by our fielding. Taking 70 wickets in 7 matches is not a joke. We can’t do it again and again just like that. Not to forget Ravichandran Ashwin who has found his rhythm back. He has tightened the screws and he has been bowling extremely well in the middle over’s. He has not given away lose runs. He has stuck on to the plan and has been on the money. Having said all this, bowling and fielding has been the key for our success in this tournament.
Batting being our creamy area, we have done it as expected and it couldn’t have been any better. Rohit, Dhawan, Raina, Dhoni, Rahane everybody have chipped in their part whenever required. Kohli is yet to make his mark in this tournament and I’m sure he has kept it pending for the most important game.
The toss will be the crucial factor in tomorrow’s game. It’s a big game, both the teams will look to win the toss and to bat first and to put up a competitive 275+ score on the board. Let’s hope for the best with respect to toss.
Irrespective of whether we are batting first or chasing, the key aspect of the game would be keeping cool till the end of 20th over. The opening partnership is extremely important and the openers need to hold their nerves and play out the initial overs. We can’t afford to lose more than a wicket till the 20th over. Playing away Mitchell starc would be the key. He is prime form and he is looking deadly. He has been at his best ahead of Johnson in this tournament. Both our openers have some issues in playing the ball which is moving away. Fingers crossed on Mitchell starc bowling to our openers. As always Kohli is our go to Man, a lot depends on him with respect to tomorrow’s game. Australia does not have a quality spin bowler, we need to capitalize that and make the best out of it. If our openers give a steady start then Raina, Dhoni would launch the pad in the end for a high finish.
If we can put up a target above 275, it will definitely be a competitive score in the big semi final. If the other way round we need to hit the right areas as we have been doing in this tournament and restrict them to below 260. They key players to watch out would be David Warner, Steve Smith and Glen Maxwell. The contest between Ashwin and Maxwell is going to be very interesting. Ashwin needs to flight more and draw the batsmen into the shot. He needs to slow his pace in the air and make use of the extra bounce in the pitch. Jadeja will come into good effect as Australian batting order is dominated by right hand batsmen, jadeja could be the man with the golden arm.
Not to forget our Man, M.S.Dhoni who’s the kingpin of our team is definitely better than Micheal Clarke in marshalling the troops. M.S D will make the difference in the field and it will be significant. I feel we have a slight edge over the Australians at the same time when I’m saying it I’m crossing my fingers.
Looking at the statistics of the crowd and the tickets sold it looks like 1:3 ratio, where Indians have a huge fan following and support. Let’s all cheer and roar to victory. Fingers Crossed, Bleed Blue !