During the Australia and Afghanistan match, before the mayhem wielded by Glenn Maxwell, two-time World Cup winner Shane Watson on the broadcast was asked who India feared the most in a semi-final match-up.

Predictably, Watson went with his compatriots Australia as he cited their slew of match-winners and experience on the big stage with a core of players part of triumphs at the 2015 World Cup and 2021 T20 World Cup.

It is true that Australia provided the only brief flutter for India in their first game of the tournament, which now feels an eternity ago due to its bloated format. But India ultimately cruised to victory and they’ve been irrepressible ever since.

Watson is probably right, Australia still loom as India’s toughest test given their gravitas and domination of the tournament throughout the years. But what Watson probably should have said was that India are head and shoulders above the competition – much like Australia’s all-conquering 2007 title-winning team that he starred for.

If India continue their rampage and go all the way then they’ll be remembered as the best ODI team since Australia won three straight titles from 1999-2007. It is almost sacrilege to compare anyone to that all-time Australia team, but India’s obliteration of the competition so far makes it unavoidable.

Much like those great Australia teams, India are making statements against their supposed rivals. There was much hype over the blockbuster between India and South Africa, who had unleashed a blistering style of play that had beleaguered Proteas fans genuinely believing their team could break a World Cup hoodoo.

But India captain Rohit Sharma came out with all guns blazing at the top, talisman Virat Kohli scored a record-equalling 49th ODI century that seemed inevitable once he marched onto the field with trademark gumption and their irrepressible bowling attack did the rest.

They reduced South Africa to a rather feeble figure that it now feels almost comical that anyone thought India could be seriously challenged. Even losing supposedly their most important player hasn’t made a difference as they’ve barely raised a sweat since star allrounder Hardik Pandya was ruled out of the tournament with an ankle injury.

Their depth and ability to seamlessly replace star players evokes Australia once again. On the eve of the 2003 World Cup, Shane Warne was banned after testing positive to a prescription drug while four years later speedster Brett Lee – arguably the best ODI paceman at the time – missed the entire campaign due to injury.

It hardly mattered as Australia went undefeated at both tournaments and India might replicate that because they’re similarly stacked.

They’ve never had a better pace bowling attack – it is the best in the world – while spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav are unstoppable when there is bite in the surface.

Conditions don’t really matter for India because they are equipped in all areas. Opponents have often cried foul of India doctoring pitches – they believe it’s nothing more than gamesmanship – but there is no need right now because they could probably win on a surface played on glass right now.

India don’t have weaknesses. There is no papering over cracks. And what if the surface is sedate? Then India’s imposing batting order will take over.

They have the right mix of big-hitters around the reassuring presence of Kohli, who has been a fulcrum throughout the tournament and he’s somehow even more steely-eyed than normal.

Having won a World Cup as a fresh-faced youngster, back when he was the understudy to legendary Sachin Tendulkar, a determined Kohli is doing everything he can to bookend his career with a title.

If they do emerge victorious, India’s bizarre curse of not winning a major event for a decade will finally end.

And a partisan crowd will erupt amid jubilation in this powerhouse country of a billion left awestruck at watching the best ODI team in a generation.

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