India will miss a left-handed quick - Dawes
India's fast bowlers are on a roll but they may not have the same impact on Australia's batsmen as Wahab Riaz had, Joe Dawes, the former India bowling coach, has said.
The left-handed Wahab tested Australia's top order, especially Shane Watson, with a menacing spell in the quarter-final in Adelaide, exposing their vulnerability to short deliveries bowled at pace, a weakness India would have taken note of, Dawes said, but India's lack of a left-armer in their ranks might work in favour of Australia.
"They'll be doing their homework and will give it a crack. Fletch [Duncan Fletcher] is a pretty astute coach, he'll be watching all of these things and he'll look to try and bring that in somewhere and give it a whirl," Dawes told Sydney Morning Herald. "But the left-hander is a big advantage and that's where the Indians don't have anyone with real pace, or any left-hand bowlers here at the moment."
The 42 wickets shared between India's pace trio of Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma is one of the prime reasons for India's unbeaten run in the tournament. Dawes said that one of them could attempt simulating a left-armer's angle by bowling round the wicket.
"No doubt they'll try that. [But] around the wicket is going to be a bit harder than just having a left-hander there," he said. "They will have watched that and will give it a go, and Umesh has definitely got the pace to do it but he's not an overly tall man so that sort of changes the trajectory and the bounce. The left-armers are proving to be quite difficult throughout the whole tournament, aren't they?"
India's bowlers will also have to overcome the "psychological damage" they endured during a tough summer. India lost the four-Test series 2-0 and were unable to make it to the finals of the tri-series that features Australia and England.
"During the Test series they really struggled for consistency," Dawes said. "They bowled some good balls, then really let the pressure off. It looks like maybe adapting to the conditions and getting their lengths right they've really improved their consistency so they're building pressure now.
"MS [Dhoni] leads them well in one-day cricket and they've sort of got on a roll. I still think under pressure they'll be tested. I'm not sure they've been tested a great deal under pressure yet.
"That's going to be the real challenge in a semi-final against Australia, where there is that little bit of no doubt psychological damage over the summer where they've been hit around a bit."
The turnaround kicked off with India's win against Pakistan in the opening match. Since then, they have dismissed every opposition en route to the semi-final, a feat they had never achieved in the past.
"I think they have got the tools to hurt any side, it's just whether or not they can be consistent enough to put the ball in the right area on the day, which they have and haven't done throughout the summer."