Sydney, March 25:
Ahead of the do-or-die cricket World Cup semi-final between India and Australia, former explosive opening batsman Matthew Hayden was on Wednesday confident that the co-hosts will beat India to enter the final.
“Obviously I think Australia will defeat India,” Hayden, member of Australia’s World Cup winning squads in 2003 and 2007, was quoted as saying by news.com.au on Wednesday.
The 43-year-old said India’s two spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will play a big part on Thursday considering the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) pitch which might assist the spinners.
“I’ve been impressed with the Indian bowling line-up. They’re particularly strong in the spin department with Ravi Jadeja and Ashwin and those two could be the key to the game,” Hayden was quoted as saying by news.com.au.
The left-handed batsman also stressed that although Indian pacers have been bowling well, they haven’t been exposed in the earlier matches and they will be against Australia.
“While their pace battery has been performing admirably during the tournament, they haven’t been exposed and I think they will be against Australia,” Hayden said.
He also said that Suresh Raina and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will play a big part in the game and can be dangerous.
“With the bat I can see Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni playing a big part. Even if Australia takes quick wickets at the start of the game these two can be very dangerous. The conditions will suit them both,” he said.
When asked to analyse India’s overall performance in the mega event, he said, “It’s hard to get a read on India’s performance in the group stage because I don’t think they were really tested. The South Africa game didn’t really go down to the wire and they got the Proteas on a really bad day.”
Speaking on the pressure that would be on the high-voltage clash, he said, “India have won all their games convincingly, the SCG will suit them and in a semi-final where it’s all on the line there’s equal pressure on both sides. But they’ve been hammered by Australia all summer.” IANS