T20 WC Semifinal Preview: Aussie Wary of West Indies Revenge

Australia has failed to win the T20 World Cup in three attempts. While once they could not even reach the Super Eight, the champion team has now become the third team after Pakistan and Sri Lanka to reach three semifinals of T20 World Cup. West Indies on the other hand with the revenge of Group Match defeat in mind, are seeking to repeat what England did in 2010.

T20 World Cup 2012: Schedule and Results

Head-to-Head

    Australia leads West Indies 4-3 in 7 matches.
    In 2009 West Indies was one of the factors in Australian elimination at Group Stage.
    In 2010 Australia took revenge in Super Eight.
    In 2012 Australia won at Group Stage.

Similarities

    Both have used 4 captains in 4 T20 World Cups.
    Both have been knocked out once at Group Stage.
    Both have played 22 players for the first Three T20 World Cups.

England reached the Super Eight in 2010 without winning a single Group Stage match, as West Indies did in 2012. The coincidence has more in common as Ireland was the suffering team in the matches against both teams to have been forced to play a draw due to rain, while West Indies and then England lost their other game of the Group Stage.

Yet, riding on history is not enough in the big matches. The first semifinal proved when the hosts knocked out Pakistan. West Indies and Australia have almost nothing in common, except the reliance on pacers. While Australia boasts of the best pace unit in current Cricket World, in Rampaul, Sammy, Pollard and Dwayn Bravo West Indies boasts of a T-20 smart pace unit.

Surprisingly the pick of the West Indies bowling is Sunil Narine, a spinner. Playing in sub-continent spinner, if wicket-taking, is the best bet and Narine is exactly what Sri Lankan pitches demand. Badree, through his impressive outing in last match, boasts to be an equal partner to Narine.

Both are far superior than what Brad Hogg, whose place is doubtful, and young Doherty, who has done a decent job so far. In simple words, the duo can wreck havoc for the Australian batsmen who are aleady seeking solution for their middle-order woes.

The defeat against Pakistan proved that Australia is a one-man army. If Shane Watson fails again with bat in semifinal then even Australians would accept what everyone else in the world can see that probably since a long time in their Cricket history they are a one-man army. Shane Watson with four match winning performances made them look invincible in the first four matches. He is the highest scorer of the tournament and highest wicket taker also. But, the day he failed Australians struggled to reach even 114 runs.

Michael Hussey has provided some good cameos, but he is not the match winner in T20 as his half-century in the lost cause against Pakistan proved. Warner fails more often after few good flicks. If three of them or even two of them are back in the pavillion, the middle order comprising of Cameron White, Maxwell, Bailey and Wade succumbs to sub-continent pitches.

That is the factor West Indies would like to expose using the duo spinners, alongwith Samuels and Gayle. If pacers fail to douse the firework of Australian top-order, Sammy may not feel shy of using the four spinners to attack. He knows that his team comprising of T20 specialists can chase any total, specially against the team that has the least impressive spinners.

Gayle, Pollard, Dwayn Bravo are T20 icons. Even Charles has shown his calibre to attack. Sammy and Russell are good hitters of the ball. Between all of the big hitters Samuels helps the innings to move smoothly. The worrying factor for Australia is that most of them have played some good knocks in current World Cup.

In their group match against West Indies, Aussie bowlers have already faced the Carribean music. West Indies is the only team to have scored freely against them. Although their batsmen also replied with big hits but the win had two factors – Shane Watson and Rain. Watson’s success reign is broken and there are chances it may not return so quickly, against Rain even West Indies would be better prepared in the big match.

Overall, the semifinal is for West Indies to win if they tackle Shane Watson and Doherty without big damage.

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