By: Keyur Seta
India is all set to clash against Australia in the Semi-Final of the 2015 World Cup at Sydney on March 26. This will be India’s toughest match not just in this World Cup but also one of the toughest matches it has ever played. This has more to do with the kind of opposition they are pitted against instead of the fact that it is a Knock Out match.
One might argue that India is unbeaten in this World Cup while Australia has been beaten once in the league stage by New Zealand. But it is the current situation that determines the chances of any team. No doubt India has played tremendously well in the series but one mustn’t forget how the Aussies have peaked to some super form right when it matters the most.
Going by the way they have played in the latter half of the tournament, they are going all guns blazing and look unstoppable. Off late, their long batting line up is proving to be lethal and the same can be said about their bowling. Meanwhile, India hasn’t faced such a side in the series so far. Hence, my prediction is that Australia will beat India and reach the World Cup 2015 Final.
But not many people are aware that apart from a place in the Final, Australia will achieve something historic if it beats India in this match. This is how it is – Under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India has never ever lost a single knockout match in any of the 50-over ICC tournaments.
Here is a list of those matches:-
- India beat Australia in the Quarter Final of the 2011 World Cup
- India beat Pakistan in the Semi Final of the 2011 World Cup
- India beat Sri Lanka in the Final of the 2011 World Cup
- India beat Sri Lanka in the Semi Final of the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy
- India beat England in the Final of the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy
- India beat Bangladesh in the Quarter Final of the 2015 World Cup
In this way, Dhoni’s leadership has made India victorious in all six out of six 50-over knockout matches. But this is not all. Dhoni also has an unbeatable record against Australia in knock out matches of all ICC tournaments. Apart from the above match, India, under Dhoni, also won the Semi Final of the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup against Australia.
A win by either team will be remembered for a long, long time. Either Dhoni’s unbeatable run in 50-over knockout games will get a huge shot in the arm or Australia will achieve something historical!
The stage is set!