Australia’s allrounder James Faulkner believes instances of sledging will be inevitable in Thursday’s high-stakes World Cup semi-final at the SCG, on a pitch that has already been the subject of enormous speculation and will continue to be all week.The confrontation between Shane Watson and Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz enlivened the tournament, even if the two combatants paid for their aggression and emotion with a pair of ICC fines. While India do not possess any bowler capable of matching Wahab for speed, Faulkner expected men on both sides to be replicating his attitude.
“I think there always is in the game, if there isn’t you’ve got problems,” Faulkner said. “It’s the nature of the game, it’s a semi-final, it’s cut-throat. There’s going to be words said and it’s going to be a really tough contest. Neither team will be backing down.” Chances of Indian aggression being witnessed at the SCG have increased over the past month as MS Dhoni’s team have found a fresh sense of purpose, direction and confidence over the course of a seven-match unbeaten run. Their form in this tournament is the exact opposite to what was glimpsed in the Tests and triangular series that preceded it – India had not won a match in three months down under before the Cup.