India will take on Australia in the World Cup final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday, Nov. 19. India, who have been in scintillating form in the tournament, have won all 10 of their matches so far.
Australia, meanwhile, made a disappointing start to the match by losing their first couple of matches but then registered eight consecutive victories to reach the final. The Aussies have won the World Cup five times, while India has done so on a couple of occasions. India will have a slight edge in the final at home, but Australia have enough pedigree and form to stay in contention.
The Indian bowlers have bowled really well throughout the tournament, aside from in the semifinal that saw them concede 327 runs against New Zealand. Moreover, the Australian batters have been in good form barring a few exceptions.
Let us take a look at what should be strategy of Australia batters against each Indian bowler
Shami has been the best bowler in the tournament with 23 wickets in only five matches. He has had three five-wicket hauls, including a career-best 7/51 against the Kiwis in the semifinal. Shami’s strength is to bowl with an upright seam and hit the right areas consistently.
Both the Australia openers, David Warner and Travis Head, are left-handers and Shami should target their stumps from around the wicket. However, he will also swing some of the deliveries away from the left-handers, which could prove to be dangerous. The Australian openers cannot afford to play away from their bodies by committing early to playing their shots.
However, someone like Mitchell Marsh will fancy his chance of hitting through the line against Shami and will be a key player for the Aussies in the power play.
Bumrah is more accurate in terms of his line and length than Shami is and might prove to be a dangerous proposition for the Australians. He also has the ability to move the ball away from the left-handers from around the wicket. However, he can also potentially target the stumps and trap the southpaws in front of the wicket.
Mitchell Marsh will have to be careful while negotiating with Bumrah, as missing the line of the ball might result in him being bowled or LBW. Bumrah’s accurate bowling in the death overs will also be a concern for the Aussies. Should India bat first, Shami and Bumrah might become even more dangerous under the lights.
Siraj does not usually have a seam position as upright as Shami’s or Bumrah’s, but he can bowl from wide of the crease and swing the ball away from the right-handers. The left-handed openers, therefore, should be cautious against the deliveries moving into them, which can hit them in the line of the stumps.
However, Siraj might be the bowler Australia decide to go after, as he has a tendency to deviate from his usual line and length when he is put under pressure. The final is going to be an acid test for the young Indian fast bowler.
Kuldeep has been a revelation in this tournament. He has typically bowled flatter and targeted the stumps often. However, given the Australian batters’ struggle against TabrezShamsi in the semifinal, he might be tempted to give the ball more flight occasionally and land it outside the line of off stump to turn it back into the right-handers.
Australia will ideally want one of their southpaws to negotiate with Kuldeep, who caused much damage against them in Chennai in their round-robin match. The likes of Steve Smith and MarnusLabuschagne should deal with him with proper technique, just as Josh Inglis did with Shamsi in the semifinal.
Jadeja has nagging accuracy and also watches the batters closely before delivering the ball. However, Daryl Mitchell showed in the semifinal that batters can actually score off him by moving sideways to create room and then playing lofted shots down the ground.
Australia will want either Warner or Head to stay on the crease to play Jadeja, as the latter’s ability to turn the ball away from the right-handers will make him somewhat dangerous for them. The right-handed batters can think of playing with a slightly more open stance to avoid getting out LBW against Jadeja.