World Cup 2019, India v Australia: 3 Indian players to watch out for

Prateek Mehndiratta

India will face Australia on Sunday

The 14th match of the ICC World Cup 2019 will see India take on Australia at the Kia Oval, London. Both India and Australia are coming into this match on the back of wins. India defeated South Africa at Ageas Bowl by 6 wickets. The highlights of this win were Rohit Sharma’s 100, Jasprit Bumrah's opening spell and the spin twins weaving a web around South Africa’s middle-order.

On the other hand, Australia had a close contest against West Indies. They recovered after a poor start, posted a challenging total and just managed to defend it. Steven Smith, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Mitchell Starc starred for Australia in the encounter. 

Leading up the World Cup, both teams have played two bilateral series against each other. India won 2-1 in Australian backyard and Australia defeated India 3-2 in India.

In this article, we will look at three Indian players to watch out for against Australia. 

#1 Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has a good record against Australia

Indian captain Virat Kohli had a quiet game against South Africa. He managed to score only 18 runs from 34 balls before edging a ball to Quinton de Kock.

Ranked number 1 in ICC ODI rankings, Kohli will like to get his World Cup campaign up and running when India meets Australia. He scored two hundred against the Aussies the in recently concluded 5-match bilateral series. 

Australian attack led by Mitchell Starc will look to bowl in the corridor outside off-stump to exploit his weakness against away-moving deliveries. Also, his duel against Adam Zampa will be an exciting battle as wrist-spinner has dismissed Kohli on several occasions in the past. Overall, Kohli will need to bring his A-game to conquer the Australian challenge.

#2 Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav will look to exploit Australia weakness against wrist-spin

Kuldeep Yadav has been key to India’s success in the last two years. The left-arm wrist-spinner has picked up 88 wickets from 45 matches at an economy rate of just 4.93 since making his debut. He has bamboozled several batsmen with his craft. However, he endured a poor IPL season where he was dropped mid-season by Kolkata Knight Riders but he didn’t let that affect his ODI performances and commenced the World Cup with a good outing against South Africa. He picked up one wicket and conceded just 46 runs in his quota of 10 overs. 

Unlike other wrist-spinners, Kuldeep bowls slower in the air and tosses the ball above batsmen’s eye line to invite them to play the big shot. His accuracy coupled with a plethora of variations makes him hard to play.

#3 Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah will look to continue his impressive form

Jasprit Bumrah had a remarkable start to his first World Cup campaign. He extracted prodigious seam movement from the Ageas Bowl surface to trouble the South African batsmen, especially the openers. The wicket of Hashim Amla was the result of impeccable line and length – neither allowing him to come on front foot nor allowing him to go back whereas he scalped De Kock’s wicket by angling the ball across him and catching the outside edge of his bat. 

He will look to continue his form against Australia. The same strategy can be employed against the Australian top order. To David Warner, the plan will be to cramp him for room and to Aaron Finch, whose feet remains rooted in the crease, he will look to bring the ball back in. After seeing West Indies decimate the Aussie top order with bounce, the short ball will also be used judiciously. If Bumrah can again make early inroads, then India will stand a good chance against Australia.