Having won 7 matches in a row Defending champions India will hope the law of averages does not catch up with them when they clash with hostsÂ and one of the tournament favourites Australia in a widely-anticipated World Cup semi-final in Sydney .Â India will hope to have better luck at the venue as India have beaten Australia just once in 35 years in a one-day international at the Sydney Cricket Ground when a Sachin Tendulkar century helped them win the first of the three-match tri-series final in 2008.
But Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s men have confounded critics by recovering from a winless bilateral tour of Australia before the World Cup to surprise all with their performance during the Cup and reaching the semi-finals.
BeginningÂ with two wins against Pakistan and South Africa, India won all six group matches to top Pool B and then downed spirited Bangladesh by 109 runs in the quarter-finals. Amazingly, India have piled up 300-plus scores every time they have batted first and dismissed the opposition in all seven matches so far.
India now faceÂ a side that has won seven of their 10 World Cup clashes,Â although Dhoni`s men secured a five-wicket win in the quarter-final during the 2011 World CupÂ in Ahmedabad four years ago.
Four-time champions Australia have won all six semi-finals they have appeared in since the inaugural event in 1975, but India will consider the SCG as the best venue to halt that record. Groundsman Tom Parker has kept both teams guessing on the nature of the pitch he will unveil for the semi-final, but the wear and tear at the end of a long season indicates spin-friendly conditions.Â South African spinners Imran Tahir and JP Duminy shared seven wickets to bowl out Sri Lanka f0r 133 in the quarter-final at the SCG last week, setting up a nine-wicket win for the Proteas.
But the bat dominated the ball in previous World Cup games at the venue, with Australia piling up 376 for nine against Sri Lanka and South Africa smashing 408 for five off the West Indies` attack.