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World Twenty20 preview: India v Australia

A place in the semi-finals is on offer when old foes India tackle Australia in a crucial Group Two World Twenty20 encounter in Mohali.

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Shane Watson says Australia must find a solution to their Virat Kohli problem when they face rivals India in what is practically a World Twenty20 quarter-final in Mohali on Sunday.

There is no love lost between two of the great cricketing nations, who face a mouth-watering shootout to take the second semi-final berth available in Group Two.

Australia rebounded from an opening defeat to already-qualified New Zealand with a convincing win over Bangladesh, before Steve Smith's unbeaten 61 and James Faulkner's maiden T20 five-for steered them to a 21-run win over Pakistan on Friday.

Hosts India were pre-tournament favourites but have struggled to hit form, and only a Bangladesh implosion - in which they required just two runs from three balls - gave them a dramatic one-run win to keep their hopes alive.

But, in Kohli, India possess one of the world's most exciting batsmen and he has proved the scourge of Australia in the past – averaging 76.2 in the recent ODI series between the teams, while scoring 90 not out, 59no and 50 in a 3-0 T20 whitewash in January.

"We've tried a few different things," said Watson, who will retire from international cricket after the World T20. "It hasn't really worked. The silent treatment, we thought might work but he still just goes about his business and is able to churn out the runs. 

"And we've also gone fairly hard at him as well, at times. He knows his game incredibly well and whichever way we go we're just going to have to be at our best to try and get him out early.

"Because once he gets in he certainly knows how to put pressure on bowlers."


Will Aussies continue to tinker with their order?

Australia went with Usman Khawaja and Watson as their openers in the first two matches, but Aaron Finch's inclusion versus Pakistan saw the latter moved down to six. David Warner was bumped to three in that match after an experiment at four failed to yield results.

"I know with the experience that I've had batting in a lot of different spots throughout my career, I am the most versatile batsmen in our line-up, to be able to move up and down the order," Watson said.


Kohli needs back-up

With 102 runs in three matches, Kohli has been India's star thus far, but those around him have struggled for form. Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are in need of runs, while Suresh Raina will hope to build on his 30 against Bangladesh having scoring 0 and 1 in his first two matches.


India attempt to leave Australia in a spin

The pitch in Mohali does not offer a lot of turn, but India's spinners are still likely to be crucial in stemming Australia's attack. While the batsmen have not been firing on all cylinders, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin have performed well with the ball.

Rookie leg-spinner Adam Zampa has taken crucial wickets in Australia's previous too matches, and he could be a difference maker against India.

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