All eyes are on the World Cup quarter finals today, where India plays Australia

As India gears up to play Australia in the ICC World Cup quarterfinals in Ahmedabad on Thursday, prominent cricketers from Bangalore analyse India's performance so far and discuss the side's chances.

“If we win this match, I have a feeling we will go all the way,” says veteran Karnataka wicket-keeper Thilak Naidu. He believes, however, that India has not been playing to its potential.

“The team has not been converting starts into big scores. A victory here will be a huge boost psychologically,” he says.

The former Karnataka opener and KSCA spokesperson Sujith Somasundar says the team needs to relax and play to its strengths.

“We know Australia's strengths and weaknesses well. It greatly matters that we have already beaten them in a warm-up game,” he says. “It's tough to predict who the eventual winner of the World Cup will be,” adds Somasundar. “Although we have the team for it, we need to do well on the day.”

‘Better option'

It is better that India is playing Australia than Sri Lanka (it would have been the opponent if India had lost to the West Indies on Sunday), says the former Karnataka all-rounder Anand Katti. “The Aussies haven't gelled yet and have no decent spinners.”

But looking at the Indian team, Katti feels it is hard to win the tournament without a bit of luck.

“India's bowling and fielding are areas of concern. Even while batting, those coming in at positions four, five, and six have not been able to build partnerships. There were collapses against South Africa and the West Indies after good starts,” he points out.

An edge

The former Karnataka and national player Vijay Bharadwaj says India might just have an edge over Australia in Ahmedabad.

Hope

“The first hurdle was to get into the knockout stages, and we have done it. The pitch at the Motera stadium has red soil, and history tells us that it will assist the spinners, which is good for us. Australia may be vulnerable, but this is a knockout game and the pressure will be that much higher. We can't be sure of a win. But we can hope,” says Bharadwaj.

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Match PointJanuary 13, 2011