Australia embraces semi-final pressure

11:50 am on 26 March 2015

Just who New Zealand meets in Sunday's World Cup final will be established today, when Australia faces India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Australia and India are both expected to name an unchanged XI for the match, with the Australian captain Michael Clarke embracing the pressure-laden occasion.

Australia have looked a much more polished outfit with Michael Clarke at the helm.

Australian captain Michael Clarke talks to his troops. Photo: Photosport

India started their tour of Australia more than four months ago and are yet to register a win over Clarke's men since landing in Adelaide for the first test.

Dhoni has helped engineer a major turnaround in form, with the defending World Cup champions undefeated in the current tournament.

But Australia remain title favourites - as they have been since downing South Africa in a five-match ODI series last November.

"Expectation is there because we're the No.1 ranked one-day team in the world," Clarke says. "The reason you have expectation is because you've performed."

"There's been a lot of talk about pressure and expectation, but that's what comes with ... playing sport at the highest level."

"You want to perform against the best and I think the boys will be fine."

"There is no greater expectation than what you put on yourself," Clarke adds.

'We have nothing to lose'

India superstar Virat Kohli isn't so sure.

"Australia at the SCG with a full house in a semi-final clash, they are under massive pressure to win this World Cup," Kohli told the Board of Control for Cricket in India's website.

"We have nothing to lose. People are expecting them to win and they know that as well."

Josh Hazlewood was named man of the match in Australia's quarter-final win over Pakistan, and selectors are unlikely to gamble on recalling Xavier Doherty in Sydney.

India were unchanged for their quarter-final against Bangladesh in Melbourne and are tipped to keep the same XI.

Clarke has come a long way since breaking down in the first test against India, but the captain was reluctant to talk about his own path to Thursday's knockout fixture.

"I haven't thought too much about it to be honest," Clarke says.

"Every time we walk out on to the field for Australia is extremely special... [Thursday] will be no different."

The match gets underway at 4.30pm (NZT).