Canada Vs Australia
Starting time: 2:30 pm IST
Bangalore, March 16: Another perceivable mismatch is headed our way as the down-and-out minnows Canada, get ready to take on the mighty Wolrd Champions Australia, on Wednesday, March 16 at Bangalore's Chinnaswamy stadium. However, one thing that can be said in favour of the lesser teams this World Cup is that they have improved drastically through the tournament.
When Canada began its campaign, it was barely able to notch up scores of 120-odd. But in the last match against New Zealand, it stunned one and all, by actually putting on a total in excess of 250. The Mapleleafs will no doubt be aiming to repeat that more robust performance against the Aussies as well and will be doubly inspired by the fact that the Kenya made the team from Down Under labour its way to a 60-run win on Sunday.
Australia hasn't played Canada in a one-day fixture in, hold your breath, 32 years! The last time these two teams faced off was in the 1979 World Cup when the former consigned the latter to a 7 wicket thrashing. Now over three decades later, a similar victory margin seems to be on the cards, unless Canada is able to achieve something special with bat and ball in their last World Cup 2011 fixture.
The batting of the Canadian middle order, especially that of captain Ashish Bagai and Jimmy Hansra appears to have come good at long last. After they scored 84 and 70 respectively, in Sunday's match against New Zealand, their averages now read a healthy 37.20 and 42.40. They will be keen to repeat that sort of success against Australia as their side posting a decent total largely depends on it.
As expected, Australia's batting is looking quite strong with vice captain Michael Clarke heading the averages for his side with 58.33, followed by Shane Watson, with 54.00 and Brad Haddin, with 49.66. These three players will be key figures in the encounter versus Canada. However, Michael Hussey, captain Ricky Ponting and Cameron White who all average under 35.00, are due for some runs as well.
Australia's bowling too looks superior to that of Canada, but surprisingly not by much. While Mitchell Johnson leads his side in the bowling charts with 8 wickets from 4 encounters at 13.33 runs conceded per scalp, followed by Tait with 8 wickets at 17.62, Canada's Harvir Baidwan (12 wickets) and Henry Osinde (5 wickets) are averaging just over 20.00.
But one will have to wait for the day when these two meet to see if these figures mean anything at all. Will Australia for all its might overcome the guts and glory of the Canadians?