Pulasta Dhar in conversation with Senior Editor Ashish Magotra and Deputy Sports Editor Tariq Engineer — on how India have fared so far in the World Cup and whether they really have a chance against Australia in the World Cup semifinal on 26 March.
Coming on the back of a thrashing from Australia during in the couple of months preceding the World Cup — India, even though expected to make the last four, weren't expected to make the stage in such staggering fashion.
Even the most optimistic Indian fan couldn't have tipped India to go on a seven-match unbeaten run (where they bowled out the opposition seven times). But despite their heroics, they haven't really been tested in a do-or-die battle yet. Especially not against a team which hammered them over the summer.
Indian fans have reportedly snapped up 70% of the matchday tickets — and while the Aussie players have begun the sledging in the run up to the game — India's camp has been pretty quiet and are going through their paces without any drastic change.
India vs Australia has probably never been harder to call — one team with their tails up, and the other coming into their own in their backyard.
"India may be over the thrashing (Test and tri-series preceding World Cup) but they may not be over Australia... not even South Africa were good enough — they even lost to Australia. But India have the momentum and this will be a mental battle," Magotra says in the podcast. He also believes that Dhoni doesn't need to play Australia's game and start the mind games so soon (or at all).
Engineer is more positive and believes 'India have lured Australia into a false sense of security. I give India an even chance to beat Australia.'
But India still haven't have a bad day in the tournament yet. Will that be a factor to consider? Will MS Dhoni's super cool attitude work in India's favour or will aggression win on the day? Listen to the podcast to find out what our sports team thinks.
Updated Date: Mar 24, 2015 11:20:52 IST