India play Australia in the Cricket World Cup on Sunday
Last Updated: 09/06/19 11:16am
2011 winners India will take on 2015 champions Australia in a World Cup cracker at The Oval on Sunday, with both sides hoping to extend their unbeaten starts to the competition.
India were the last of the 10 sides to get their campaign underway but did it in style in Southampton on Wednesday, inflicting a third straight defeat on beleaguered South Africa.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal bagged four wickets as India limited the Proteas to 227-9 before Rohit Sharma's 23rd ODI hundred guided Virat Kohli's charges to a six-wicket success.
India bossed the game from start to finish - Kohli's dismissal for 18 perhaps the one moment when South Africa threatened a fightback - but that was not the case for Australia in their 15-run win over West Indies at Trent Bridge on Thursday.
The reigning champions tumbled to 79-5 against West Indies' power-packed bowling unit, before Steve Smith's patient 73 and Nathan Coulter-Nile's swashbuckling 92 from 79 deliveries from the No 8 position lifted Aaron Finch's charges to 288 all out.
West Indies then looked in a decent spot at 190-4, only for Pat Cummins to remove Shai Hope for 68 and Mitchell Starc to knock over the lower order and take a five-wicket haul as the Caribbean side were limited to 273-9 - Jason Holder's 51 in vain in a see-saw encounter.
Any blips from Australia are likely to be punished by India, whose build-up to the game has been dominated by the military emblem on wicketkeeper MS Dhoni's gloves.
Dhoni is an honorary lieutenant colonel in India's territorial army and wears its dagger insignia on his gloves - but has been asked to remove the symbol by the ICC, who say only manufacturers' logos are permitted on clothing.
Should Dhoni make that change, it may be the only alteration for India, who would seem loath to tweak a winning XI, meaning paceman Mohammed Shami, pipped by Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a spot against South Africa, could sit out again.
For Australia, Coulter-Nile says he would not be surprised if he was dropped, despite his superb knock against West Indies, insisting he is in the side to take wickets, not score runs.
The paceman did not strike with the ball in Nottingham, recording figures of 0-70 from 10 overs, leaving fellow quicks Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson hopeful of a start.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kohli is the batsman the opposition always want to get out - but getting rid of Sharma is also key. South Africa did not manage it, with the 32-year-old going on to score an unbeaten 122 and move up to ninth on the list of most ODI hundreds. Seven of his 21 tons have come against Australia, with the right-hander averaging 61.87 against them.
Smith was instrumental to Australia's recovery with the bat and may have completed a ninth ODI hundred if not for a stunning catch on the boundary by Sheldon Cottrell. Smith has passed 50 in five of his last six innings and looks like he is on his way to being the run machine he was before his ban for ball-tampering.
WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?
Australia assistant coach Ricky Ponting on India seamer Jasprit Bumrah: "I think everyone has learnt he's probably one of the best fast bowlers in the world with a white or a red ball. [Australia ] have learnt he can surprise you with pace. They've learnt his control is outstanding as well."
Australia captain Aaron Finch on David Warner after the batsman struck a net bowler during practice: "Dave was obviously pretty shaken up. The young guy seems to be in pretty good spirits at the moment. He's obviously been taken off to hospital and will continue to be assessed just to make sure that everything is okay. But yeah, Dave was pretty shaken up, no doubt.
"It was a decent hit to the head. Hopefully everything keeps going well for the youngster and he's back up and running shortly. It was tough to watch."
Finch on facing India after beating them in a bilateral series earlier in the year: "India have got some all-time great players, no doubt about that. So to be able to beat them in their home conditions three times in a row was really important for the confidence of the side, especially going into a game like this.
"You do your due diligence on every bowler every game. Bumrah is a world-class bowler. He's had a lot of success, especially over the last 18 to 24 months. I think all the guys are as well-prepared mentally and technically as they can be... it's too quick to be tinkering with technique and things like that in my opinion."
Indian opener Rohit Sharma on his century against South Africa: "All the cricketers in this tournament want to start well, and it gives you that momentum going into the tournament. Talking about that particular innings, I felt it was not the way I would like to play. Obviously you have to respect the conditions and at times the bowlers, as well, which is the reason I would say probably one of the best. Not the best century I have scored, but yes, probably one of the best."
Watch India vs Australia in the Cricket World Cup, live on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup from 10am on Sunday.