SYDNEY: Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee believes the balance of the hosts’ side will see them defeat defending champions India in Thursday’s World Cup semi-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“I honestly think that Australia will win on Thursday, I think they’ve got the right balance in the team,” said Lee, a popular figure in the sub-continent where he has appeared in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament and also released a hit record, on Tuesday.
“With David Warner and Aaron Finch at the top, Steven Smith’s slotted in beautifully at number three, Michael Clarke at four, Shane Watson at five, I think that’s a really good balance for the side, whichever way they want to go with the quicks,” he added at an ICC World Cup pop-up event in Sydney.
“Josh Hazlewood did extremely well with his four for 35 off his 10 overs (against Pakistan in the quarter-final in Adelaide), Pat Cummins, who might get his opportunity here.
“Australia’s spoilt for choice, they’ve got the experience, the youth coming through, I reckon they’ve got a really well-balanced team.”
India’s pace attack of Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma has, to the surprise of some pundits, been one of the keys to their run to the last four.
Shami is one of the tournament’s leading bowlers with 17 wickets and Lee said: “He’s been really impressive. I’ve played a fair bit of cricket with Shami over the last couple of years, he’s a wonderful guy and goes in hard.
“Yadav is the other player that bowls good pace. They’ve got a three-pronged pace attack who can all bowl quick, who can all bowl up to 145 km/h.
“If they land the ball in the right spot, they’ve got a really good chance of getting wickets.”