It is now or never for India as they face Australia in a virtual knockout game at the PCA IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali, Sunday. The net run rate will not matter anymore as whoever wins this encounter will be through to the semi-final of the ICC World T20 2016 from Group 2.
This is probably the biggest game in Group 2 so far. An India vs Australia clash has all the components of becoming a high-voltage encounter and it will be for sure as the semi-final berth is at stake.
MS Dhoni is unlikely to make any changes to his side as he likes to stick to his combination. But there might be just one change that Dhoni may make just for this game -- Harbhajan Singh instead of Hardik Pandya.
Everyone must be thinking why would the Team India captain drop Pandya when he became the hero in the last-over-thriller against Bangladesh.
The answer is experience. Harbhajan Singh has the temperament and that 'never-say-die' attitude in him. His performance against Australia is also worth mentioning. The Turbanator has the ability to turn games around for India if needed and he has done it in the past in the same stadium against Pakistan in the ICC World T20 2011 semi-final game.
It is not to say that Panyda has not been doing well and he does not have it in him to do well against Australia. In fact, he did extremely well against Australia, Down Under, during the T20 series. But this is a crunch game and Dhoni might just rope in Harbhajan in the playing XI for this match.
The Aussies has been experimenting with the batting line-up way too much. They clearly are not one of the settled sides in the ICC World T20 2016, but one must not forget, they are an extremely dangerous side with a lot of firepower in their ranks.
Steve Smith will also try and stick to the same line-up that played against Pakistan in the last game at the same venue. Aaron Finch and David Warner are yet to open the innings together as Usman Khawaja has been in superb form right at the top. Smith returned to form against Pakistan and will look to continue it against India as well.
Australia are very much aware of the fact that India are a tough team to beat at home and they have to be at their sublime best if they want to trump MS Dhoni & co. Virat Kohli's wicket will be a priceless one and the Aussies bowlers must chalk out a plan to stop this run-machine, who becomes even more dangerous against them.
At the same time, the Aussies should also not forget about Yuvraj Singh who has consistently haunted them in all major ICC events.
Expected line-ups: India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (C & wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Ashish Nehra, Jasprit Bumrah
Australia: Steve Smith (C), Aaron Finch, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Josh Hazlewood, James Faulkner, Adam Zampa, Nathan Coulter-Nile/ John Hastings