Australia v India, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Barbados May 6, 2010

In-form favourites face off

Cricinfo staff

Match Facts

Friday, May 7, Bridgetown
Start time 0930 (1330 GMT)

The Big Picture

If you trust the bookmakers - and in the unpredictable Twenty20 format that is quite a risk - Australia and India are the two favourites to win the tournament. They both came through the pool stage undefeated, along with West Indies and New Zealand, and for whoever loses this game the campaign is far from over. But it will provide a very interesting form guide, considering the final will be played at this venue.

India have had a week off following their double-header in St Lucia, while Australia have been given a taste of the quicker conditions in Barbados during their victory over Bangladesh on Wednesday. It could give Michael Clarke's men a slight advantage and their pace trio of Dirk Nannes, Shaun Tait and either Mitchell Johnson or Ryan Harris should be fired up against the stronger opposition.

They find themselves facing an outfit that includes Suresh Raina, who has just become one of four century-makers in Twenty20 internationals, and men like Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir, who often seem to lift against Australia. Whichever team escapes with the points from this game will take a big confidence boost, while the loser will hope to turn things around against Sri Lanka and West Indies to find a way through to the semi-finals.

Form guide (most recent first)

Australia: WWTWW
India: WWWLL

Watch out for...

It was Dirk Nannes who did the most damage against Bangladesh, but Shaun Tait is an equally frightening prospect on a Kensington Oval pitch with some speed. He cracked the 160kph barrier during the Australian summer and is always a threat in the short, sharp spells favoured by Twenty20 captains.

Yuvraj Singh has made useful contributions in both matches so far, without on either occasion being the star. His power is without question and he enjoys playing Australia: in his two Twenty20s against them he has made a combined 101 runs from 55 balls.

Team news

After two comfortable victories, don't expect Australia to make any changes unless Mitchell Johnson is available. Johnson missed the Bangladesh game with an infection in his right elbow and should replace Ryan Harris if he comes in. "He was certainly improving this morning," Michael Clarke said after Wednesday's game. "Mitch is a huge part of our team with both bat and ball, hopefully he is fit."

Australia (probable) 1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson, 3 Michael Clarke (capt), 4 Brad Haddin (wk), 5 David Hussey, 6 Cameron White, 7 Michael Hussey, 8 Steven Smith, 9 Mitchell Johnson/Ryan Harris, 10 Dirk Nannes, 11 Shaun Tait.

The opener Gambhir says he is feeling fit and strong after recovering from a groin injury and is in line to replace Dinesh Karthik. Praveen Kumar has flown home and should be replaced by Zaheer Khan. With the pitch likely to assist fast bowling, Vinay Kumar might also get an opportunity at the expense of Piyush Chawla.

India (possible) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 M Vijay, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 6 Yusuf Pathan, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Piyush Chawla/ Vinay Kumar, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 Ashish Nehra.

Pitch and conditions

The Barbados pitch has been more fun for the fast men and harder work for the batsmen. In the opening four games there the scores have been modest: 141, 114, 139, 80, 147, 151, 170 and 157. The forecast is for scattered showers and a top of 33C.

Stats and trivia

  • The teams have met in three Twenty20 internationals for two wins to India and one to Australia

  • They last faced each other in February 2008, and such has been the change in Australia's Twenty20 team since then that only Michael Clarke and the Hussey brothers remain from that side

  • At the close of the pool stage, Dirk Nannes was the leading wicket taker in the tournament, with seven at 8.42


    "These conditions are really going to help our fast bowlers. There was a lot of pace and bounce in that wicket."
    The Barbados pitch excites Michael Clarke

    "There is not much difference between the three sides as in T20 every team looks to attack. Everybody would like to win the title. So the competition is going to be stiff."
    Gautam Gambhir

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bramville on May 8, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    Sorry Cricinfo Staff - I know you wrote this before the Ind / Aus match. But now that everyone knows the result of this match, i think you might have to re-write your heading. India were outclassed in all aspects of the game. If this is the way they play fast bowling, then they can say good bye to a semi final spot. With Srilanka is good form, India are going to have to play out of their teeth if they have to get past SL and WI.

  • Narendran on May 7, 2010, 17:25 GMT

    Some of the Indians writing here were pretty arrogant (India will crush Australia period... lol). They have inherited the traits from Lalit Modi I guess. Being confident and being arrogant are two different things. Also people are mislead by overrated IPL performances. Shaun Tait playing for RR and playing for Australia is way way different. Our players are a bit overrated. Without Shewag and Tendulkar our team looks fragile. Too many hit or miss players in the team. Vijay has to prove that his IPL form is not a flash in the pan, if they were real innings in first place. IPL looked like every team was given strict instructions to make the game look close and see saw all the time, so it can entertan the bookies. It did not look real at all. Now we are watching some real cricket.

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    Aussie Aussie AUSSIE! Oi Oi OI!!!

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2010, 13:27 GMT

    I think Australia and South Africa are favorites of this tournament. AUS will beat India easily today.

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    pakistan cant win by its self and now all pakistani support australia to make them win.australia need pakistani for win...........? watch out md. ali.

  • Sharath on May 7, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    India are playing with 8 batsmen...Too defensive a tactic...8 overs to be bowled among Jadeja, Yusuf, Yuvraj, Rohit & Raina...Hope that doesn't cost much to India...Hope & Pray that India wins:)

  • ANAND on May 7, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    All the Best INDIA!!!!!!!!!!! CHAK DE INDIA!!!!!!!!

  • naveen on May 7, 2010, 12:56 GMT

    i'll give a chance to Umesh yadav instead of chawla or vinay kumar as on this picth his pace and speed of 140-145 will be quite handful.

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2010, 12:49 GMT

    India is over rated team. Today India will face fast and furious bowling which India have always lacked. Tell me one Indian bowler who can bowl above the 150 kph rate.

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    This should be a very interesting encounter if these two go at it. The crucial part really is the toss. I'd put myself in the field first to extract as much of that fresh bounce as possible to my advantage. However from that point of view it is almost a given that Australia may very well win chasing. Their very menacing quartet should extract as much pace as possible. Of course notwithstanding that GG & the rest LOVE the ball coming onto the bat. But can they handle the initial screamers & fireworks from Tait & co.?

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