Can India Beat Australia?

I have that sinking feeling again. Look, I know I’ve been wrong in the past, and I shouldn’t behave like a fair-weather fan. For whatever reason, I’m stuck in the 1990s and, to safeguard myself against inevitable heartbreak, I like to believe India won’t win, only to feel the customary thrill when they do. But what fan of this team could reasonably conclude India stand a chance of beating Australia in the quarterfinal?

Do not consider the record on paper, or batsmen’s averages, or anything like that — just look at the tournament performance so far. Going into the World Cup, we knew India’s weakness was its bowling. So far, that’s been about right: without Zaheer Khan, or the occasional help from a spinner, we’re not doing too well. Unfortunately, neither is our batting: we have a strong top-order, but a weak lower one. Meanwhile, Australia’s pace strategy can go awry (as it did against Pakistan), especially when Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson form two parts of the chair. Together, though, they are a fearsome pack, out to crush toes. And I fear an intangible element is missing in India’s campaign. There isn’t the same momentum we saw in 2003, or the sheer will to win in the T20 2007 cup. I don’t know if it’s the quality of the opposition, but India doesn’t seem to have lifted, and they don’t look like winners (whereas South Africa and, weirdly enough, Pakistan, do). Will Harbhajan Singh bowl well? Will Yusuf/Virat perform? Will Brett Lee destroy India?

So, I’m taking a huge risk here and calling it: India lose in a couple of days. Achettup, please, prove me wrong. Comfort me now! (Again, just to protect myself against angry comments, I’m obviously rooting for an India victory. I’m just not convinced so far that it’s on the cards. I’m scared as hell.)

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12 thoughts on “Can India Beat Australia?

  1. Rahl says:

    Rest assured, brother from across the border. India feels the same anti aussie stinge as we do. And I’m sure the way we kicked there ass in the last match brought up similar sentiments in india too.
    i think dhoni’s a cool headed and smart captain. he’ll pull out some trick or two. harbhajan needs to do out do himself and zaheer needs a wingman. nehra needs a better length. u guys have plenty of experience with pacers so that shudn’t be a big worry. but lets hope the match turns out as good as it sounds.

  2. knowledge_eater says:

    haha, if we hold on to pressure without thinking much, India will win. But, I just hope MSD win toss, and India bats first just to script perfect revenge match. If any 2 set batsman from SRT Viru Yuvi Kohli or Gauti will bat through out 50 overs, expect lots of runs, because I think Austrlia is bowler or two short, India have to play full 50 overs with enough batsman to play those.

    And tbh, our bowling is picking at the right time. You don’t expect bowlers to hold of SA batters chasing only under 300 runs where they have enough batsman who play spin well. Also, seeing how bowled against WI, I don’t know why ppl. still think our bowling is weak. We have two bowlers who have taken 10+ wickets, find me how many teams have more than two bowlers taken more than 10+ wickets.

    It’s the inability to bat out good 50 overs have hurt us. Against England, if hadn’t collapsed and if someone else had good batting at the end, we would have score 370+ on pitch like this, against SA same thing still our bowlers managed to take game till last over. Against WI same thing, but it’s because of our bowlers we manage to pull of win from hiccup position.

    Our bowling and fielding are fine, it’s the inability to bat lower down the order is the problem. Or inability for our middle order to bat till end leave vital 20-30 balls for tail enders. If we fix that, it’s Austrlia’s turn to put in extra effort. Not India’s.

    Cheers.

  3. Golandaaz says:

    Admittedly India haven’t had a great WC so far but Australia’s weakness has been shielded by a weak group.

    I am not predicting a winner but 9 times out of 10 we should win the game. Some signs that point to an Indian win…

    SRT can’t fail 2 games in a row and he has upped his game against the toughest opponents (SA and Eng)

    Whatever Ponting might say, at any level when you don’t walk and like a pompous fool proclaim that you had nicked it, it eats your conscience. Good deeds (like SRT walking) will be rewarded and evil ones will come back and bite you

    Australia have accepted that its okay to lose to India. Okay I am referring to our test wins but 5 unanswered Test wins starting Perth 2008 have gotten Australia accustomed to losing to India

    I just feel, its India’s time. The last time we beat Australia in a WC game was in 1987 I think. Before SRT made his debut.

    • duckingbeamers says:

      Thanks for the comment, Golandaaz. I’m not sure karma affects actual cricket outcomes, but I wouldn’t mind seeing an empirical study!

      The basis for my pessimism seems, oddly, to be a factor for your optimism: the fact that India has not beaten Australia in a WC since 1987. That’s about 25 years of history to overturn, and even in these revolutionary times, it requires a certain amount of belief and power.

      It’s clear, then, what an Indian victory would mean. First, it would signal (once more) an Australian decline and the end of an era. (Australia might lose Tests with frequency now, but they are still reigning ODI champions.) Second, and conversely, it would mean the culmination of the rise of India, first seen under Ganguly, consolidated under Dravid, and brought to full fruit under Dhoni.

      We shall see.

      • Golandaaz says:

        The 25 drought in terms of wins against Australia is easy to explain. We were never as good as the Australians.

        Another “sign” I am seeing is the way Yuvraj has reemerged. In some ways, he and Zak started India’s defiance against Australia. Remember the Champions Trophy in 2000

        We later converted that into something more substantial by winning the 2001 test series

        And now again these two are in top form….

        And test form has always decided who wins the WC, except may be in 83 and 96. Whether the Austraian team in 1987 was the best is debatable but they were on the up swing

  4. girisopinion says:

    This is one of the best opportunity for India to win the cup and to beat Australia. Australia weren’t even the strongest team in their group. They lost to Pakistan and were struggling against SL before the rain helped them out. So unless India chokes, I don’t see them beating us.

  5. DB, I am just as scared as you are about this game. It’s arguably the toughest draw we could have had in the Quarter Finals. But if there was ever a chance for India to beat Australia in a World Cup match in the last 25 years, it was in 1996 and it is now.

    Sadly, we could not do it in 1996, but I will hope we do it now! Like @knowledge_eater opined, I will also be hoping that the toss is in our favour. MSD’s luck with the toss is not that bad in coloured clothing as it is in whites. So there is reason for optimism there too. 🙂

    Like you, I am not very sure about the theory of karma affecting the result. But there is enough reason to hang on to realistic hope. Yes, there will be immense disappointment if we lose, but that does not mean we do not recognise our best chance to beat the Aussies. On that hope, my expectations hang!

    (By the way, just a matter of trivia – when the World Cup was held in the sub-continent last time, India had beaten the defending champions in the Quarter Finals.)

  6. I am undecided. But I think India’s best chance is to chase not defend a total. In most cases they should be able to get about 300.

  7. anthony says:

    i believe india should give austriala to bat first and hold them on 270 score than the batsman have better chance to score the total and we will win

  8. […] yes, gloat one and all — I was wrong. India did beat Australia, contrary to my predictions (but perfectly in line with my desires, I assure you!). That said, let me note that the victory […]

  9. Vasu says:

    sehwag
    sachin
    rahul dravid
    virat kohli
    rohit sharma
    vvs laxman
    dhoni
    ravichandran ashwin
    z khan
    vinay kumar
    umesh yadav

    this is my team proposal for the december 2011 series with australia

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