Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar refused to pick a favourite ahead of the crucial India vs Australia game in Mohali on Sunday. The former India captain his heart said India would win and make it to the semis but insisted that it would be a fairly open game.
India and Australia will battle it out at the PCA Stadium for a place in the semi-finals after losing to New Zealand and winning against Pakistan and Bangladesh.
There have been concerns over India’s batting but Tendulkar felt Mohali could be a different story. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh had struggled to get going in Nagpur, Kolkata and Bangalore.
“Mohali could be a different story. I think it’s a fantastic ground there. The surface will be different. The first three surfaces assisted spinners. In Mohali, the ball will come on to the bat a lot better and that means the ball will go a long distance as well,” Tendulkar told India Today in an exclusive interview.
India failed to chase a lowly 127 in Nagpur and almost made a mess of another modest chase against Pakistan before Virat Kohli stepped in with a gem of an innings. Against Bangladesh, the top-order flopped again. Tendulkar said the first three pitches assisted the spinners and the spinners did well to exploit the conditions.
“They were all difficult tracks to bat on. Since it’s T20 cricket, people think it has to be a 180 plus game. Otherwise, they think we are not playing well.
“Mohali maybe a different story because the surface would be harder. The ball will come on to the bat very nicely,” Tendulkar said.
The Master Blaster said while his heart said India would win, the Sunday game would be wide open. “Australia have a strong batting line-up and they can match India’s batsmen. India have more variety in the bowling department,” he said.
Tendulkar was susprised with Australia’s decision to ask David Warner to bat in the middle order. “If I am the opposition, whose face would I not want to see for 20 overs? David Warner. I don’t want to see his face for 20 overs.”
Warner, Australia’s most destructive limited-overs batsman, has failed to set the tournament alight after he was demoted from the opening position. Several experts feel he should get back up the order and open with Aaron Finch.