India v Australia
The Oval, London
2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, Match 14
Sunday, 09 June; 10:30am local, 09.30am GMT
Australia's famed never-say-die spirit once again came to the fore, when they staged a remarkable comeback against West Indies at Trent Bridge on Thursday. Nathan Coulter-Nile, who had an ODI average of 12.83 before Thursday, stunned West Indies with a 60-ball 92 to lift Australia from the depths of 38/4, with Steve Smith and Alex Carey, too, making laudable contributions. Then, Mitchell Starc - the Player of the Tournament in the 2015 edition - snuffed out a tough West Indies fightback during the chase to finish with five wickets and deliver a 15-run win. Now, Australia once again meet the opposition against whom they began their remarkable ODI turnaround earlier this year - India.
A brilliant five-wicket haul from Mitchell Starc propelled Australia to a 15-run victory over West Indies to make it two in two for their #CWC19 campaign.— ICC (@ICC) June 6, 2019
His wicket-taking balls feature in our @UberEats best deliveries! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/9Pu61On9CO
Their opponents are riding their own wave of confidence, having announced themselves with a convincing victory against South Africa on Wednesday. The spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who wiped out half the South African line-up between them, might once again be a decisive factor. While Rohit Sharma seemed back in touch with his gritty century, KL Rahul's resistance during a tough period of play must be heartening for team management.
Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli might've failed in their first outing, but their track record against Australia, and the current form of Starc and Cummins, surely builds up towards an exciting contest.
Virat Kohli (India): Having done very little of note since arriving in England, the Indian captain will be keen to show his might against the quality Australia's attack. Kohli, the top-ranked batsman in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings, has always produced his best against the five-time world champions, and will be raring to do so once again at the biggest stage.
Steve Smith (Australia): Kohli's equal in the opposition camp, Steve Smith was chiefly responsible for ending India's World Cup campaign in the 2015 edition, when he made a century against them in the semi-final. The right-hander averages in excess of 50 against India, starkly ahead of his career average of 41.92. With his imperious wrist-work, Smith has his own way of countering spin bowling, and will be a key batsman for Australia in the middle overs.
A few isolated showers might be expected in the afternoon on an otherwise fine day with sunny spells throughout. Batting second has proved to be difficult at The Oval in this tournament so far, which makes the toss a crucial aspect. Dryness, and large square boundaries, might well bring the spinners into play.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon