When India and Australia contest the semi-final spot in their quarterfinal match at Motera, Ahmedabad, the question everyone will ask that who will be the winner in the contest between best batting unit and best bowling unit of the tournament.
Australia has finished 3rd in their Group, behind Sri Lanka and Pakistan. While, they could not defeat Pakistan, and were forced to accept draw against Sri Lanka, the Aussie did show that they have the best bowling unit in the tournament.
Surprisngly, in the subcontinet they are playing with 4 seamers. Still their bowling has become the most drea ded as they have bowled out their opponents in most of the matches that were completed. They could not bowl out Pakistan, but their bowlers did make life difficult for Pakistani batsmen while defneding a below par total. Against Sri Lanka also, the bowlers had put Lankans on backfoot, when the rain arrived.
The pace battery has rattled almost all, includding New Zealand, who have crossed their way. Only H Patel of Kenya could stand against them. The trio of Tait, Brett Lee and Johnson is effectively supported by modest pace of Shane Watson. The trio was hit mercilessly by H Patel, whose performance helped Kenya record the fastest 50 runs in the tournament. Sanity prevailed and the seamers clamped Kenyan innings later to help their team register another emphatic win.
H Patel and Pakistan’s victory against Australia can be the inspiration for India. While India has many Patels in their rank that starts from Sehwag and ends at number 7 batsman Pathan. Anyone of those 7 batsman can alone rattle the best bowling unit on their day. It is to be seen if any one of them or all of them make the Kangaroos hop to the boundaries to collect the balls, more than the liking of Aussies.
The Indian batting not only looks the best on paper, but has also performed consistently. Sehwag, Tendulkar and Yuvraj are among the top ten batsmen of the tournament already. Kohli has already hit a century. Gambhir has played consistent cameos of 50s. Dhoni and Pathan can be destructive in any form of the game on any ground around the world. If Raina plays, he alone has the quality to turn the game in India’s favor.
They have registered high scores through out the tournament. But, probably they have not faced the best bowling attack. They can not afford to respect the bowlers, as it is tough to choose whom not to respect among the pace battery of 4 Aussie bowlers.
The same irony Aussies will face in deciding whom to target. If they target Sachin/Sehwag the remaining players can create havoc too, specially on the pitch of Ahmedabad which is more supportive to batsmen.
Ironically, there cannot be a contest between Aussie batting and Indian bowling as both have failed to show any strength so far in the tournament. Both the teams then will be looking at cleaning the complete oppostion unit, than dealing one by one. Whoever wins the battle between the ball and bat in the quarter-final will be the winner.
H Patel of Kenya and Pakistani bowlers have showed what hurts Australia the most. Tight bowling and spin can make the Aussie batsmen dance, and hitting their seamers right from the beginning can make the bowling unit crash. Thankfully, India has more than one Patel to do so, and enough good spinners supported by fiery Zaheer to silence the Aussie fire.