It’s the matchup that many have been expecting since the start of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. While many thought it would take place in the final, the two great rivals in Australia and England will square off in the semi-final this Thursday night.
We have a full preview and betting tips for the monster matchup between the Aussies and England below.
Thursday, 11th July, 7.30pm (AEST), Edgbaston
The two sides met in the round robin stage, where Australia were convincing winners, bowling England out for just 221 off 44.4 overs after setting a total of 285. Aaron Finch was fantastic in the win, notching up his 2nd hundred for the tournament while Jason Behrendorff and Mitch Starc were dominant with the ball, claiming 9 wickets between them.
Australia will be disappointed with their loss to South Africa on Saturday night. A win would have secured the top spot in the round robin stage and the easier semi-final against New Zealand that comes with it. Instead, they’ll have to face England, who have looked on song with the bat recently, scoring 300+ in their last two games.
Australia lost just two games throughout the round robin stage, one to India earlier in the tournament and the loss to South Africa in the final game. They played a total of just 13 players throughout the nine games, with Shaun Marsh and Jason Behrendorff being the inclusions from the team that played the opening game against Afghanistan.
The opening partnership of David Warner and Aaron Finch has been a significant reason for the Aussies success, and they’ll need to be good against England given the vulnerability that the middle order has shown over the past few games. It will be interesting to see whether the Aussie selectors stick with Usman Khawaja at No.3 or decide to promote Steve Smith up the order. Smith looked fantastic early in the tournament but has dropped off recently.
The real catalyst for Australia’s success, however, has been the dominant bowling of Mitch Starc. The left-arm-paceman has taken a ridiculous 26 wickets through the 9 games at an average of just 16.61 and has consistently taken the all-important wicket in the first power play.
England’s batting line-up has been nearly invincible throughout the tournament so far, except for a minor hiccup throughout the middle portion of the tournament where they lost consecutive games against Sri Lanka and Australia. England has scored 300+ in every other game they have played in this tournament where they have been given the opportunity0.
The loss of Jason Roy through the middle patch of the round robin stage coincided with their batting slump, and his return to the opening partnership with Johnny Bairstow instantly resulted in back to back games with 100+ run opening stands. However, the English batting line-up has been vulnerable at times if the opposition has been able to take an early wicket and expose Joe Root to the new ball.
England’s bowling has been their Achilles heel in the tournament so far and Australia will really need to take advantage of that if they wish to advance .Jofra Archer and Mark Wood were impressive early in the season but they haven’t got much help from the rest of the bowling attack.
There is a bit of injury speculation surrounding the Australian camp, with Marcus Stoinis set to face a fitness test to prove his health before the game. There has been calls from Australian cricket experts to bring domestic powerhouse and former international star Matthew Wade into the side due to his form for Australia A on the English tour.
Regardless of what the Australian batting line-up looks like on game day, we think the key to the Aussie fortunes lies in the hands of Mitch Starc. We have seen the English batting line-up fail on multiple occasions when the likes of Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler are forced to play too much of a role, so a couple of early wickets to the left-arm paceman would swing the game in the Aussies favour massively.
He has taken 11 wickets in his last five ODI matches against England at an average of a tick over 27 and in those five games, he has dismissed both Jason Roy and Johnny Bairstow on two occasions each as well as claiming the scalps of Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (twice), Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler. Back Starc to put the Aussies on his shoulders here and Australia to advance to the final as underdogs, sending the English packing with yet another disappointing performance at the World Cup.
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