Former Australian captain Steve Waugh said that India need to confront their mental scars against his countrymen as they prepare for this week’s World Cup semi-final clash.
Australia dominated India, in both Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODIs), prior to the World Cup at home.
Waugh said while the Michael Clarke-led Australian side enjoyed a psychological advantage over the defending champions, he was impressed by India’s recent form, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I think Australia will, mentally, be a lot tougher game for them. India has been consistently beaten by Australia over the last couple of months and they’ll definitely remember that,” he said.
“Having said that, (India) look to be in good form. They’re playing very well and their batting is capable of chasing any target. They’ve played well (during the Cup) and they’re on a good streak at the moment. This is a game where both teams will feel a bit apprehensive. They’ll (both) feel confident but if they don’t bring their A game they’re not going to win,” Waugh told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Waugh, who captained Australia to Cup success in 1999, said it pleased him to think the Aussies still had plenty of improvement in their game at the knockout stage of the tournament.
“It was a good win (against Pakistan on Friday night) but I think there’s still a fair bit of work for them to do,” he said.
“The team is building momentum. I don’t think we’ve seen the best out of them yet and I see that as a good sign because (it means) they’re capable of improvement still.”
Waugh, who spent time with the Australians in the lead-up to Friday’s quarter-final triumph over Pakistan, added that he felt the team were ready for a “big opportunity”.
“It was only a quick trip; dinner with the team, attending a team meeting and then a training session the next day. (My role) was more about talking to the guys, it was very relaxed,” he said.
“I thought the team was very focused. The training system was very sharp and intense and being match simulated in it’s type. I was very impressed by the environment, they seemed like they’re ready for a big opportunity.”