Ahmedabad, March 24: The hotly-anticipated India Vs Australia clash in the quarterfinal of the World Cup 2011 has evoked a range of views and opinions from the experts far and wide (Gallery) (Scorecard).
On being asked if India can beat Australia in what is being called a revenge game, Sourav Ganguly told a leading news channel, "Yes, there is no doubt about it. India have a good chance of beating Australia. India is a better side."
Speaking on India's chief hope against the Aussies, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav said, "I don't mind him failing against the West Indies. Every time he has got out cheaply, he comes out all guns blazing (referring to his two centuries against England and South Africa in this WC) in next match. I hope to see him putting India in a good position against the Aussies."
Moving on to another noteworthy cricketer - Pat Symcox from South Africa, the veteran Proteas off-spinner is backing India to win because hiss old buddy Gary Kirtsen is the side's coach and because he is sure the team has the wherewithal to outclass ther Aussies this time around. "India will beat Australia", declared Symcox, tersely yet confidently.
Then the word from the old war-horse and one of cricket's most outspoken commentators Tony Greig, was also that India will win the quarterfinal, "India have the batting to do it. Their top four batsmen are guaranteed to fire. Then the latter order have to also click", said Greg speaking on a leading sports channel.
Other experts preferred to centre their discussion on Ricky Ponting whom they see as the core of the team's success. "He's not in form, he's not in the right mental condition, he's fighting for his place in the side," says former Indian captain Anil Kumble. Meanwhile West Indies batting great Viv Richards said that Ponting was like "cat on a hot tin roof" because he wants to win so badly that he can not full concentrate on the job at hand which is his captaincy and his batting.
So the claim from the experts almost unanimously is that India has a hot opportunity to bring an end to Australia's World Cup reign. Now Team India needs to prove them right...