World No. 1 Australia won the toss and elect to bat first against India in the second semifinal match at Sydney. Both teams remain unchanged. India and Australia have clashed 10 times in World Cup so far. The Kangaroos won seven times, while India won thrice. The last encounter between two teams in World Cup came in 2011 at the Quarterfinals in Motera. India emerged winner in that epic battle.
While Australia have an edge over India in Sydney with a 12-1 record, they also boast of their unbeaten record at World Cup semifinals. They never lost a semifinal match in World Cup – appeared six times and won all.
After winning the toss, Australian skipper Michael Clarke said, “It’s about enjoying. It’s a big occasion, it’s a special day. We know we are up against a fantastic team, but we love playing here at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The boys are ready to go, they have trained really well. That’s all I can ask for. We are going to have a bat. I think we are about to find out. The wicket looks great. I think it will be pretty good for both innings, runs on the board is the reason why we have gone for batting first. Same XI for us today. I thought Hazlewood) was exceptional. I think he grabbed his opportunity with both hands, the selectors believe this is right XI for these conditions. I am confident if we play our best cricket, we can have success today.”
Indian skipper MS Dhoni said, “I think the way we have transformed from the tri-series, getting into the World Cup was very important for us. All of us are looking good. That’s something that is very important. Everybody has got a chance to bat, bowl, fielding has been good, overall preparation looks good. Not really. I feel it wouldn’t really change much. The toss is something beyond the control, you have to accept it. But, yes we would have also batted first as well. Everyone is fit. So, that’s give us a liberty of playing with the same squad. I think each and every one in a game like this you have to be at your best irrespective of whether you are opening the innings or batting in the middle order. So, get off to a good start, if you get a good start make sure you score big, that is something we always emphasize on. The partnership is more important than individual performance. So, that has been the key for us throughout the World Cup.”
Australia: Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steven Smith, Michael Clarke (C), Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, Brad Haddin (WK), James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (C/WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma.