Barbados:It's India's first Super Eight encounter and against the World's number one Test and ODI team, Australia. This match is being touted as the virtual final as the two favourites of the tournament face off against each other at the Kensington Oval at Barbados. And with a pitch that offers lively bounce it could well be a contest between India's spinners and Australia's seamers.
The Australian pace quartet Dirk Nannes, Shaun Tait, Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson is about the most lethal attack in the tournament. India have a bevy of spinners in Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja and part-time tweakers Pathan, Yuvraj in their ranks, who could possibly stop the Australian batter in their tracks. But then, it remains to be seen how they perform under pressure.
Team India captain MS Dhoni might be feeling the pressure ahead of the battle royale but it certainly wasn't reflecting on his face. Though men in blue have a better T20 record than their opponents, but India know they have to be in top form for perhaps the toughest of their three Super 8 matches.
"It's important to see the new ball off. Teams have their best bowlers coming and bowling and it is important not to lose early wickets. Once you've got a platform then you can look to score." said Dhoni.
While team India has been tight lipped about their plans for their arch rivals and most bitter opponents, it's quite clear that the five-day break between the first round and the Super 8s was used quite well to do a bit of homework. After couple of days of relaxing where the Indians tried their hand at surfing and scuba diving and enjoyed the best of Caribbean beaches, the last two days were spent on intense and focused training sessions.
"We're playing quite late in the tournament in the Super 8 so we're watching all the other matches on television. It's more than enough to get an idea," added Dhoni.
The Aussies on the other hand look to add the only piece of silverware that's missing from their sizeable collection - the World T20 Championship.
"India have won this title before and all their players have played IPL so they've got a lot more experience than us in this format. There's a buzz about Australia vs India contest so without a doubt, it's the biggest test so far," said Australian coach, Tim Nielsen.
The match begins at 7:00 pm IST.