Cricket World Cup 2011

Preview: Australia vs Canada

2011-03-16 10:30
Canada's John Davison bows out of cricket after this match. (AFP)

Bangalore - Australia have already qualified for the quarter-finals, but want a comprehensive workout against Canada, who bow out after the clash with just one win under their belt so far.

Venue guide
Bangalore, M.Chinnaswamy Stadium

Form Guide

Australia: WWWWW
Canada: LWLLL

Watch out for...

Bagai's wicketkeeping: MS Dhoni is the best at stumpings and Kumar Sangakkara is solid all round, but Bagai has looked the most fluent and natural keeper in the competition. He is quick on his feet, uses soft hands, has a wonderful anticipation, and oozes confidence when he stands up to the medium-pacers. Of course Canada rarely get close to winning, and so we will never know how good Bagai is in pressure situations, but there is enough skill to make you watch him keep.

After Shahid Afridi, Balaji Rao has to be the one of the best legspinners out there. While Afridi snares his victims with sliders and variations in pace, Rao tries to treat your senses. The slow amble to the crease, the ripping release, the courage to flight, the ability to get it to drift, and the turn he can extract, makes him a neat package to watch.

When Brad Haddin is at his best, he reminds you of Damien Martyn, especially when he unfurls that silky drive through extra cover. The problem is he suddenly changes into Shane Watson. For a man who can time the ball so well, he often goes hard at the ball and tries to crash it up and over the field. Perhaps he still sees himself as a wicket keeper-batsman, whose job is to score quick runs, rather than a top-class batsman. Ponting urged him to convert his starts and that's a sign that the captain wants Haddin to have higher ambitions.

Pitch and conditions

The pitch is the same one on which Australia played Kenya. So it is bound to get slower and aid turn. It will be interesting to see how the Australian batsmen fare against the spinners.

Team news

Considering the workload in playing three games in quick succession, Australia are likely to rest Shaun Tait and give John Hastings a go.

Australia (likely): Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wk), Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Cameron White, Michael Hussey, Steven Smith, John Hastings, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Jason Krejza

Canada (likely): Hiral Patel, John Davison, Zubin Surkari, Ashish Bagai (wk), Jimmy Hansra, Rizwan Cheema, Ruvindu Gunasekara/Parth Desai, Harvir Baidwan, Khurram Chohan, Henry Osinde, Balaji Rao

Stats and trivia

Ricky Ponting is only player to have scored 1,000 World-cup runs as a captain. He is the second after Tendulkar to score over 1,600 runs in World Cups.

Ashish Bagai is third captain-wicketkeeper to score fifty on two or more occasions in the World Cup. Kumar Sangakkara and Alec Stewart are other two.


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