In a thrilling semi-final clash at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Australia edged out South Africa by three wickets to book their place in the World Cup 2023 final.
South Africa, put in to bat first, struggled early on but recovered thanks to David Miller's fighting century to post a competitive 212 all out. Australia's chase could have been smoother sailing, as they lost wickets regularly.
However, Travis Head's 62 and Steve Smith's 30 provided some stability, and despite a late wobble, Australia managed to reach the target with 16 balls to spare. The top bookmakers in India have amazing odds for the World Cup final.
The match was tense, with both teams fighting tooth and nail. Australia's bowling attack was superb, with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood picking up early wickets, while South Africa's bowlers also put in a valiant effort.
In the end, Australia's experience and composure proved decisive, as they held their nerve in the pressure cooker of a World Cup semi-final. South Africa, despite their fighting spirit, was left to rue missed opportunities.
On 19th November, India, who qualified after scoring a win over New Zealand in the 1st semi-final, will be facing their old rivals Australia.
Both teams have a history of some of the most thrilling clashes in the World Cup. The quality of players is at par in both teams and it won’t be easy for any of them to dominate the final fixture.
Analysis of Team India
Team India has been dominant throughout the tournament. The only time they were in trouble was against New Zealand during the semi-final fixture.
India's batting lineup is one of the most formidable in the world, boasting experienced and talented players such as Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, and Shreyas Iyer. These players have a proven track record of scoring big runs in ODI cricket, and they proved to be a major force throughout the tournament.
India's bowling attack is equally impressive, with a mix of pace and spin bowlers who can adapt to different conditions. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Mohammed Siraj are the spearheads of the pace attack, while Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav provide spin support.
Mohammad Shami has been in ferocious form in the ongoing tournament and he is the leading wicket-taker with 23 wickets in the tournament.
There is no major loophole in Team India’s performance. The only problem team India can face is that they have very little experience in chasing the score in the ongoing World Cup.
So if India gets the chance to bat second, they might struggle a bit as it is not a comfortable scenario for the team.
Analysis of Australia
Australia's bowling attack is one of the most feared in the world, boasting a trio of pace bowlers – Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood – who are capable of taking wickets on any surface.
Starc, in particular, is a genuine match-winner, while Cummins and Hazlewood are consistently reliable performers. Their batting lineup is packed with experienced and talented players, including David Warner, Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell.
However, Australia's middle-order batting has been inconsistent during the tournament. While the top order of David Warner and Steve Smith was solid, the middle order often struggled to find its rhythm.
This inconsistency put pressure on the top order and the bowlers. Except for Glenn Maxwell, the team can’t be dependent on players like Marnus Labuschagne and Josh Inglis.
One positive aspect is Adam Zampa’s spin bowling has been effective on Indian pitches. He is the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 22 wickets and can play a crucial role in the final fixture of the tournament.
India vs Australia – Who Can Win the Cup?
India has been in excellent form in the lead-up to the World Cup, winning their last 10 ODI matches. They have a strong batting lineup, a versatile bowling attack, and excellent fielding. They are also playing on home soil, which will give them a significant advantage.
Australia is also a very good team, and they have the potential to go all the way. They have a world-class bowling attack, led by Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, and a powerful batting lineup, featuring David Warner and Steve Smith.
However, they have been inconsistent in recent months, and they have a few weaknesses that India could exploit. Overall, India looks like the stronger team at the moment. However, Australia is always a dangerous opponent, and they should not be underestimated.