World Cup 2019: Australia can give tough fight to India at Oval Sunday

Indian captain Virat Kohli

Chennai: One of the most formidable sides in the World Cup, Australia will take on favourites India at the Oval in London tomorrow, in what is touted to be the most-anticipated contest of this World Cup.

Australia had a disastrous 2018 and incidentally they found redemption this year against India where they went on to win the ODI series after winning the last three ODIs. They then blanked Pakistan in another away series and suddenly became a force to reckon with before entering the World Cup.

The return of the disgraced duo, Steve Smith and David Warner, too, bolstered their batting and with two wins in two matches so far, Australia is a completely different team and can give a tough fight to the tournament favourites, India.

India had a comfortable victory against South Africa but the top-order needs to come well in swinging conditions against Australia. South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris gave their heart out in the contest bowling consistently good line and length. However, they ran out of steam as there wasn’t any other quick bowler to lend them support. With Australia boasting of a formidable line-up comprising Mitchell Starc, who is fresh after a five-wicket haul, Pat Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile, it will be a different contest altogether for the India batsmen.

Australia captain Aaron Finch

For Australia, David Warner, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith have done well with the bat so far and the biggest challenge for the Indian bowlers will be to restrict them from scoring runs. With Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and even Nathan Coulter-Nile, Australia possess a strong batting line-up that can bat deep.

Australia too will be wary of India. The paramount challenge for the Aussie batsmen will be to counter the Indian spin twins – Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal – both the bowlers have been a lethal weapon for India, especially in the middle overs since they posses the ability to not only dry the run flow but also pick up wickets at regular intervals.

In the last game against South Africa Chahal picked up a four-wicket haul and he will be eager to repeat a similar performance. Another threat for the batsmen comes in the form of Jasprit Bumrah, the World’s No. 1 bowler. With his searing pace and variations, he has made batsmen all over the world dance to his tunes in recent times and will be eager to have a go at it yet again.

He was the one who provided the breakthrough in India’s previous game by unsettling the openers and Kohli will hope he does the job yet again for the Men in Blue.

Aaditya Anand M