Sydney, March 24:
Former England captain Michael Vaughan on Tuesday said that though both India and Australia have a 50-50 chance, one cannot rule out the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-factor when the two teams clash in the cricket World Cup semifinal at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) here on Thursday.
“There is something about Dhoni and World Cups. Dhoni knows how to win World Cups and that goes quite a long way. What he did after the tri-series is remarkable. I really do think it is a 50-50 caller. India has got the power and finesse,” Vaughan was quoted as saying by bcci.tv.
The former right-handed batsman said the SCG pitch could suit the Indian slow bowlers.
“India would fancy themselves playing at the SCG. It will take some spin. (Ravichandran) Ashwin is getting the ball to shape through the air which is very important to his style of bowling,” said the 40-year-old.
“They are looking at what South Africa’s Imran Tahir did in the quarterfinal and it will come down to certain players winning their opening battles, from (David) Warner and (Aaron) Finch to Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma winning the opening battle against Mitchell Starc. Come Thursday, it will be about which of the teams plays better.”
Vaughan also stressed on the batting armoury of both the sides.
“The Indian team has a wonderful array of batsmen who have been there and done that. They have got a couple of young players like (Ajinkya) Rahane who I believe is the best technician among Indian players. He plays the quicks and spin as well as anybody. With MSD, they have a firecracker,” he said.
The former cricketer said that if all-rounder Glenn Maxwell gets going it will be tough for the defending champions to stop him.
“For the Aussies, Maxwell has had a wonderful tournament and has the ability to hit the ball 360 degrees from ball one. If Maxwell has his day, India can’t win because he would score 100 in 50 balls. MS can do the similar but it’s generally down to the foundation,” he said.
The Englishman added that skipper Michael Clarke and Smith will be crucial as they are the best players of spin in the Australian side.
“Smith and Clarke will be crucial for Australia as these two are the best players of spin and one of them at least will have to get a decent score,” he said. IANS