Friday, February 1, 2008

Australia vs India Twenty20: Who Will Win?

Australia vs India twenty20 match is now the center of all attention in the cricket world. The match will be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The match is now about a few hours away with fans are eagerly waiting to see another Australia vs India clash. It is always a bit hard to predict when two teams like Australia and India are playing each other. After an exciting test series which Australia won by 2-1, now the expectation form the two sides has bee increased among the fans. Though India lost the series, they could put on huge pressure on Australia and stopped their winning run at 16 straight victories in test cricket.

However, some non-cricketing matters are still out there ahead of the match. Following Harbhajan Singh’s successful appeal against his three match ban for alleged racist remark to Andrew Symonds, now Australian media, players and fans are not satisfied with the verdict given by John Hansen, a Justice from New Zealand, who was appointed by ICC to handle the appeal of Harbhajan Singh. Australian captain Ricky Ponting expressed his dissatisfaction over the verdict given by the Justice.

Sydney Morning Herald reported:

New Zealand judge John Hansen, who heard the appeal, apportioned much of the blame to Symonds for starting the spat.

"Right the way through this, he has had a fairly amazing knack of when things have gone against him or gone bad that he's been able to play some of his best cricket as a result," Ponting said.

Harbhajan Singh was handed a three match ban by match referee Mike Proctor for allegedly racially abusing Andrew Symonds during the Sydney test match. The incident hit the headlines of the newspapers. India even threatened to quit the series and decided not to move from Sydney until any action was taken on Harbhajan Singh’s three match ban. After getting support from Indian cricket board, Harbhajan Singh appealed against the decision to ICC and John Hansen was appointed by ICC thereafter, and Harbhajan Singh was allowed to go on playing pending his appeal.

Ponting has hinted that the controversies could inspire Symonds play another smashing innings against India. I think, that is what would be dangerous for India. If the likes of Andrew Symonds can play his game then the opponent teams have to go though some scary moments. Both Australia and India featured some youngsters in their squad. So, it is almost certain that both teams will use the twenty20 match as an opportunity to bring on some inexperienced faces in their final line up. David Hussey, who has been called up following his impressive domestic form, is the new face in Australia’s squad for the twenty20 match.

Reuters reported:

Fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clarke and spinner Brad Hogg were also overlooked, while Shaun Tait was not considered after announcing his retirement on Tuesday.

Ben Hilfenhaus, James Hopes, Nathan Bracken and Ashley Noffke were all added to the bowling roster while Brad Hodge and David Hussey, the brother of established international Mike Hussey, was selected for his international debut.

I think, Ricky Ponting and his deputy Michael Clarke have a lot to offer as the team is very inexperienced with Mathew Hayden being rested for the match. However, Ricky Ponting is not confirmed for the match yet as he is recovering from his back injury which he sustained during the fourth test of the series.

The Age reported:

"I didn't play the last Twenty20 game so if I'm fit I'll have to come back into the side somewhere, hopefully I do, so we've got a bit of discussion … mainly about the team and just mainly about how we want to approach this game," Ponting said.

"I injured my back last week in Adelaide obviously, been pretty much flat on my back for the last couple of days just trying to give myself the best chance to recover.

Indian squad also has some injury problems and they seem to be worst sufferer for injury woe. Their in form pacer Rudra Pratap Singh and in form batsman Yuvraj Singh, both of whom had an important role in India’s Twenty20 world cup victory last year, would not be able to participate in the match with injury. However, the team includes some young but talented cricketers like Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina etc. So, they may not face that much problem to sort out the line up. However, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said that India has taken the match as a practice match for the CB series ahead of them.

The Age reported:

"We will take the Twenty20 as one of the practice games," he said.

"We will look to win, but that's best that the reserve guys have come in and join the squad, so we need to get the best out of it and hopefully the weather will be better for cricket tomorrow."

So, you can see that India will feature a young side. Dhoni could not yet confirm if Harbhajan Singh will be there in the final line up. Considering the cricketing and non-cricketing sides, I think, the match is going to be a close match as both teams are eager to win. Australia is going to put their every effort in order to clinch a victory over India. Australia lost to India in their previous two meeting in twenty20, including the first one in the semi final of twenty20 world cup.

That is why, it is for sure Australia and India are going to appear with their best form today. As I have earlier mentioned that it is very difficult to give any verdict when Australia and India play each other in Twenty20. So, it is safer to say that Australia will have home advantage counted, while Indian team will include some young faces who will be inspired to give their best to win a place in Indian team regularly. Holding the poise down would also be very important for both sides. At last, I just hope to see an exciting match at the MCG.

Whom do you think to be the winner of the match?

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