Time to raise game, says Aussie great

FORMER Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Ian Healy knows a thing or two about winning high-pressure World Cup semi-finals.

He was in the team that won a thriller by five runs against the West Indies to advance to the final at the 1996 tournament.

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Healy scored a valuable 31 in Australia's 207 in that game, and took two catches as the Windies' run chase fell apart, collapsing from a near-unbeatable 3-165.

The veteran of 119 Tests and 168 one-dayers said he believed Australia would have to step up a level in its semi-final against India at the SCG on Thursday to earn a shot at a fifth title.

"Come semi-final time anyone can win. You can lose a semi real easy," Healy told APN.

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Australia's X-factor in the cut-throat stage could be Glenn Maxwell (pictured), who perfected an extraordinary "back away, look away, deliberate cut through point" shot in the quarter-final against Pakistan. That was Maxwell's own description of a boundary off fire

brand Wahab Riaz in the match at the Adelaide Oval, on his way to 44 not out from 29 balls.

Australia will want its misfiring opening batting partnership of David Warner and Aaron Finch to set a solid platform against an Indian attack headed by Mohammed Shami, the third-highest wicket-taker at this tournament with 17 scalps.

The pair has combined for a total of just 78 runs in its past four partnerships at the top of the order. In contrast, India's openers Shikhar Dhawan (367 runs) and Rohit Sharma (296 runs) have been in impressive form.



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