1) Shikhar Dhawan vs Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc is arguably the best fast bowler in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. With his acute bowling angles and in-swinging yorkers in death overs, Starc is the leading wicket taker in the tournament with 18 wickets. Starc’s biggest target in the grand semi final clash will be India’s dashing opener, Shikhar Dhawan. Dhawan is the leading run scorer for India in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and he has already scored two hundreds in the tournament. Starc would look to exploit Dhawan’s weakness outside the off stump by bowling in the corridor of uncertainty just around the off stump.
2) David Warner vs Mohammad Shami
Mohammad Shami is the second highest wicket taker in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 with 17 scalps and he would surely look to eliminate Australia’s swashbuckling opener David Warner. Warner, except for a hundred against Afghanistan, hasn’t converted his aggressive starts into big scores. Shami’s first spell to David Warner will set the tone of the match as Warner can take the match away from the opposition in no time, with his aggressive stroke play.
3) Glenn Maxwell vs Ravichandran Ashwin
Glenn Maxwell has been striking the ball really well in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. Maxwell has the potential of changing the course of the match in no time with his outrageous hitting. India’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will have to be at his best against the big hitting Aussie all-rounder as Maxwell has had better off Ashwin on more than one occasion in the past.
4) Suresh Raina vs Mitchell Johnson
Suresh Raina played a match-winning knock against Zimbabwe in India’s last pool game of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, and scored his first World Cup hundred. He also made a very crucial contribution in the quarter final against Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). But, despite his good form, Mitchell Johnson will sniff an opportunity to test Suresh Raina with some short pitched stuff.
5) Virat Kohli vs Josh Hazelwood
Australia’s newbie paceman Josh Hazlewood has asked for some grass on the Sydney wicket. Hazelwood took 4 for 35 in the quarter final against Pakistan, and Australia would be hoping he does something similar in the semi final against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). India’s star batsman Virat Kohli hasn’t fired in the last couple of matches and he would be desperate to get out in the middle and make a big contribution with his bat. Kohli is a big match player and Australia would will surely have a plan to get him early. If Hazlewood’s wish of having a green top is fulfilled, his on-field battle with Virat Kohli will be very exciting to watch.
By Aniket Arora