The arch rivals go face to face for a place in the finals of World Cup 2019. England takes on Australia at Edgbaston tomorrow in a battle royal to decide the second finalist of the event. England goes into this match with a great record as they have won 12 out of their last 15 matches against the Aussies. But Australia is great in the knockout stages of any tournament and actually won the match when these two teams met earlier in the league states of this championship. Australia does have injury worries though with Usman Khawaja being ruled out and Stoinis also being a suspect for the Thursday’s encounter. Australia lost their last match against South Africa with the Proteas delivering a spirited performance while bowing out, with a victory. England had to win both their last matches to qualify for the knockout stage and they did, as the team withstood the intense pressure of playing the last two matches. Both teams would have loved to avoid this face-off but now it is inevitable and fans will be rejoicing the opportunity to see the rivals clash on a big stage. Australia will be more confident though having been there in this situation many times.
Australia Team Preparations
The injury count for the Aussies is rising with Usman Khawaja being ruled out along with another injury suspect Marcus Stoinis and Shaun Marsh. The replacements have been brought in the form of Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, and Peter Handscomb for the remainder of the tournament. But it’s the injury to the inform Khawaja that will bother Australia the most. He was the sheet anchor and around him, the big hitters were doing their job. This responsibility will go to Steve Smith now who incidentally is not performing at the top of his game in the world cup. Khawaja will be replaced by Handscomb and even Wade might get the nod ahead of him due to the superb form he is in. It will also increase the hitting abilities of Australia. But the batting will still rely on David Warner and Aaron Finch with those injuries happening around them. Warner has amassed 638 runs so far in the tournament while Finch has scored 503 runs. So, if England can get the openers out cheaply the rest of the Aussie batting is not in great touch. Mitchell Starc has been the bowler of the tournament with a staggering haul of 26 wickets so far. He leading the overall wickets tally of the world cup by a long way. He has been particularly effective in polishing off the tails. It was his inability to take wickets against South Africa that allowed the Proteas to get away. He was responsible for the Australian performance in the semis and finals of the 2015 world cup and expectations are not much different this time around. His support cast will be Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, and Jason Behrendorff. The fifth bowler’s quota will be shared by Marsh and Maxwell.
England Team Preparations
England managed to reach the semifinals after fumbling through the league stages and now they are two matches away from creating history. No British side has ever won a world cup and the last time they reached the semis was in 1992. But this time they have a few things going for them such as, they have a great record at Edgbaston and the pitch at this venue is flat. This will allow the English batsmen to play freely and their power players will enjoy the conditions at this ground. England was the top-ranked team coming into world cup 2019 but they have just managed to scrape through to the semifinals. But they have a great batting lineup with Roy, Bairstow, Root, Stokes, Morgan, and Jos Butler. All these batsmen are in great form however, the performance of the openers will be vital. If the openers can get them off to a flier this team will be difficult to stop. This is a better batting lineup than the Aussies. The bowling attack will be manned by Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Liam Plunkett, and Chris Woaks. Wood and Archer have worked well in tandem and they are the most successful combination for England ever in a world cup. It will be a toss-up between Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid as the bowlers had a great world cup. Moeen Ali provides a better alternative though with his batting abilities. There is no doubt that England have all the requisite tools needed and it is only their mental frame of mind which remains to be the question mark. The ghosts of some unexpected losses will remain etched in their memories but they will try to concentrate more on the recent overall dominance over Australia.
That recent record of winning 12 out of last 15 matches against Aussies will stand in good stead for the Englishmen. They have won their league matches against the other two teams that have qualified for the other semifinal those are India and New Zealand. Australia is struggling with injuries although they finished ahead of England in the points tally. The conditions at Birmingham also suit the English team better and overall England will start as favorites for this match. Not a lot in it though as Australia are well capable of toppling the home side.
The Venue, Match Timing, and TV & Live Streaming
Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Timing: Thursday, July 11, 2019, 3 PM IST, 10.30 AM GMT.
TV: Sky Sports.
Live Streaming: NOW TV.