Sydney, March 24 (IANS) One of the fastest bowlers of all time Brett Lee on Tuesday said that Australia will come out as the winners in the cricket World Cup semifinal against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) here on Thursday.
“I honestly think Australia will win on Thursday night against India,” Lee was quoted as saying by bcci.tv.
The 38-year-old said the co-hosts have a balanced side which will give them an edge against the defending champions.
“What will probably give Australia the edge is the right balance which they have at the moment. David Warner and Aaron Finch at the top and Steven Smith has settled in beautifully at No.3,” Lee said.
“Michael Clarke comes in at No.4 and Shane Watson at five which gives a really good balance to the side. They have got the experience and the youth coming through.”
The Australian also certified that India’s comeback after the poor tour Down Under was impressive and one should not forget that India are the defending champions. He added that the SCG pitch could suit the Indian slow bowlers.
“I feel it will be a slow wicket and will keep a bit low. The slower bowlers will come into play, which might favour India,” the former fast bowler said.
Amidst all the talk of India being served short balls, Lee was of the view that India’s pace attack too had the potential to create a flutter against the Australian batsmen. He was particularly impressed with Mohammad Shami.
“Shami has got the most number of wickets in the tournament for India and has been really impressive. I have actually played a fair bit of cricket with Shami over the last couple of years and he is a wonderful guy,” he said.
“Umesh Yadav is another bowler who bowls at a good pace. India have got a three-prong pace attack that can all bowl quick, upwards of a 145 kmph-mark. If they land in the right spot then they have a really good chance to win.”
The former quick backed Virat Kohli to come good and expects him to rise to the occasion.
“Virat is a world class player and has proven that over the last few years. He obviously has got the right technique and a wonderful opportunity now to go and stamp his authority on the game,” Lee said.
“He is a big game player. He will be looking forward to the semifinal. I know that he also loves to play against Australia. He will be looking forward to Thursday.”