World Cup 2015: India March 23, 2015

Dhoni knows how to win World Cups - Vaughan

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Vaughan: Bowling not a question mark for India anymore

Regardless of conditions, skill and Australia playing at home, former England captain Michael Vaughan said the Sydney semi-final against India is a "50-50 call" because of a single factor. "MS Dhoni knows how to win World Cups and that goes quite a long way."

Vaughan was part of a two-man stand-up media gig at the Sydney ferry wharf, surrounded by reporters, tourists, seagulls and the iconic backdrop of both the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

In the months before the World Cup, he said Australia had "played India some 10 times and Australia had won on every occasion." Now, with India unbeaten in the tournament so far, he said Dhoni's impact has been "remarkable," and that there had been a "change of team and a change of mentality." When it came to separating the two teams, it was the Dhoni factor that could kick into India's favour - as a captain and man with a sense of occasion.

Vaughan expected the semi-final would be settled through the tone set at the start: "The team that plays well in the first 15 overs of the match, be it with the ball or bat, is the team that gets ahead and wins that game. They have all got power, all got finesse, they have got different kind angles to create in the field."

Winning the early "confrontations" would also play a key role. "I do think that will win the game," Vaughan said. "In the first twenty overs, there would be fireworks, both attacks have some pace and that will set the game."

Michael Vaughan has credited MS Dhoni for India bouncing back from a dismal tour of Australia prior to the World Cup © AFP

On an SCG pitch that is expected to be run-rich, Vaughan believed both teams were equal in batting strength but had noticed the distinctive ability of Ajinkya Rahane

"I think, he is the best technician among Indian players. He plays quicks and spin as well as anybody." Over the next four or five years, Vaughan said, "you will be talking a lot about Rahane more than what we have heard (of) even up till now as he is a wonderful player.

"He doesn't get that left foot too far across and that's why he has got great balance on the back foot. He has not only got options of playing both cut shots and pull shots, but also has the option of going down the ground.

"When you have those options as a batsman, you make it difficult for opposition to set fields, as you can't set fields for shots down the ground. I think he showed in England last year, he can allow the ball to come to him."

Among the Australian batsmen, he marked Glenn Maxwell as the man who could hold back India's progress. "Maxwell has had a wonderful tournament, he has the ability to hit the ball 360 degrees from ball one. If Maxwell has his day, India cant win as he would score 100 in 50 balls."

With India's line-up, Vaughan thought Australia wouldn't be wasting their time 'targetting' India's premier batsman Virat Kohli, whose World Cup scores read: 107, 46, 33*, 33, 44* 38 and 3. "If you single out one, you would be then struggling with the other 10. India have got wonderful talent right down from 1 to 11."

Responding to James Faulkner's belief that the sledging between two teams would be "inevitable," Vaughan said, "It isn't going to be quiet and I like to see competitive edge" and a "bit of confrontation."

Although he added: "I don't think I enjoyed the Wahab Riaz-Shane Watson confrontation as I thought it was over the line." The verbals he said were fine, "unless it's not swearing."

"A little bit of sledging, banter is okay. I am sure Indians will give it back in plenty. They are not going to be quiet. Virat and co, will give it back and that's good for the game."

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rajan on March 26, 2015, 2:23 GMT

    The Basic if bowling first to win this match:-

    1) Bowl right area, keep line and length+ pace 2) Try 2 in-swinger, 2 out swinger, 1 yorker every over. 3) Don't drop any catches. 4)Respect the batsman if scoring technically, else use bouncers 5) Introduce best spinner if pace bowlers hammered 1-6 overs. 7) use pace and spin combination after 10th over. 8) Try to restrict 35-40/3 first 10 over.

    Result will come.... best wishes team India,

  • Alex on March 26, 2015, 1:51 GMT

    @Finn McMillan , Media has to talk about india. But they always try to find something to praise them. More people read if article is pro india. Your view of india bowling is skewed based on tri series. You may think its same team. Your view is based on it. But there three things changed. 1. No Rayudu black hole upsetting indian batting rhythm. 2. Mohit sharma filled in third seamer brilliantly. 3. Indian crowd( there was no indian crowd in tri series or test series). This will be like playing game in India. Aussie viewers may get upset seeing indians flocking to sydney and sea of blue. For me as a bowler crowd energy helps and infuse you with energy. You put in extra gear. Beginning of the game will be electrifying. I want aussie to win but not going to happen. Its aussie is bad , it is just that if indian play around starc they can win it comefortably. I can see indian crowd upsetting aussie bowlers and they start throwing wides and bouncers like angry child.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2015, 11:27 GMT

    It's going to be a great match between two big cricket teams "India vs Australia". iRabwah will launch the eligible stream for its viewers on 26th March 2015

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2015, 10:24 GMT

    NZ- 2015 wc chaps...looks so

  • Rajeev on March 25, 2015, 8:25 GMT

    My best wishes to India, and want to see two undefeated teams in final for the 1st time. I am seeing apprehensions in Australia camp. Australia batting we revolve around Warner, Smith and Maxwell. Clarke is far from his best. If Indian openers see off new ball attack successfully without much damage then it will be very difficult for Australia to contain strong batting lineup. It is 50:50 game and expected to be a cracker like other semifinal where undefeated team won in the end.

  • Md.Ebadot on March 25, 2015, 7:59 GMT

    I wish AUS will WIN against IND and go through the Final for having a classic fast and fury match between NZ and AUS, where once again,I must wait for NZ's sweet smiling! Let's see what will happen!

  • Mann on March 25, 2015, 7:54 GMT

    1992 -2007 India had a good team which did not win the World Cup. thus a lot of people think that this side is better than all. What people forget is that batting had become so easy and in New Zealand the grounds are so small. The last two world cups and esp this one has seen scores above 300 in most case. All the matches save the first semi final was pretty much one sided. In fact some minnow games were more exciting. just imho

  • Krishen on March 25, 2015, 7:11 GMT

    IND had stronger sides from 1992 to 2007 than 2011 and 2015. Yet IND underachieved due to average captaincy; less focus on mental toughness, physical fitness & fielding , team goals v individual records. The outcome of matches does not get decided by captaincy alone but also by team capability, pitch conditions, opposition team capability etc. Dhoni has an exceptional record as a captain in all formats of cricket. Dhoni's test record abroad has more to do with other issues than captaincy. IND's inexperienced fast bowlers have adapted well to the pitch conditions and have got help from excellent ground fielding & catching. IND has lifted their performances in CWC 2015 to an orbit beyond the reach of other teams. IND however need to maintain focus and discipline in batting, bowling, fielding to win the title. IND will need to preserve 10/9/8/6 wickets till 10/20/30/40 overs while batting. The team that plays well on the match day will win but an easy win for IND can't be ruled out.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2015, 6:56 GMT

    @Alexk400, well said. agreed 100%

  • Samar on March 25, 2015, 6:38 GMT

    Doesn't matter who ever wins this game after all NZ will take away the WC. Australia has some slight edge as they have won all the ODI matches against India this summer and they have a psychological advantage over good going India. Will be a mental game for both good and balanced teams.But Aussies lacks a good spinner. I see Aus Vs NZ in the final. Go kiwis Go. This time for NZ.

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