Cricket World Cup: Runs to flow freely in Australia-India semi

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Australia are the co-hosts whose belligerence showed signs of weakness in the quarter final against Pakistan. India are an unbeaten juggernaut with both a World Cup to defend and a score to settle with their Sydney opponents.

MS Dhoni’s men have been based in Australia for four months, give or take the odd day for games in New Zealand. Their preceding World Cup assignments took in both a Test and ODI triangular series with Australia, played with plenty of ill-feeling.

India lost every game they played in those series. Yet as soon as the task of defending their 50-over crown loomed into view things changed.

Seven Indian wins and seven opposing batting units dismissed makes this reunion with their foes in the semi-final incredibly even, although the Ladbrokes odds-makers don’t tend to see it that way.

They make the Aussies marginal favourites to win at a price of 4/9, with Dhoni and co adjudged as 7/4 shots to make a second consecutive final.

With two batting lineups evenly matched, the result looks most likely to come down to the application of the bowling attacks.

It could be argued that India, despite bowling out every side they have faced so far, haven’t come across a side as well balanced with the willow as Australia’s, although their victory over South Africa comes close.

That was five outings ago though and an inability to contain the free-flowing blades of David Warner, Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell could see the defending champions fall at the final hurdle.

But, on a pitch that has been a batting paradise throughout the tournament, it could be that a score of 320 could be considered a significantly successful strangle.

In previous games at Sydney so far, South Africa pumped the West Indies for 408 while the Aussies managed 376 against the Sri Lankans.

In fact, runs are so expected that the odds of any player scoring a century in the game are priced at an almost guaranteed 8/11.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.