Australia vs England: The Kiwis are through to their 2nd consecutive World Cup finals & they’ll take on either England or Australia. The dress rehearsal for the Ashes is on & this for the spot in the finals.
“There’s a lot of good things about England, but I don’t want to tell you too many of them.” – said Michael Clarke in a presser for the ashes in the year 2010. This, however, was for their test team. Nine years down the line the same phrase can be used with a lot of conviction for the ODI team. The English team has come a long way. If they were Mt. Kilimanjaro in the 2015 World Cup, they’re now the Everest. If they were Jenson Button in 2015, they’re Lewis Hamilton in 2019. Their stature as a unit has reached new heights & they’re only one step away from realizing the very obvious. England are ranked one in the ODI rankings & will look to make it to the finals of the quadrennial tournament after 27 years.
They can bat, they can bowl & also field their way to the finals. Unlike the other men in blue who were overly dependant on the top order but one hiccup cost them dearly. In the last 4 years, the arch-rivals have met 17 times where the Aussies have managed to win only 5. The very recent clash between the game at Lord’s on the 25th of June. The Poms, then, were beaten by 65 runs. Jason Behrendorff(5/44) & Aaron Finch(100) being the major destructors on that occasion.
Coming into the new year the Aussies probably had their worst international year. They were smashed 5-0 in England around this time last year & conceded 481 at Trentbridge. But here’s the major warp to it. None of the current pacers had featured in that bowling unit. India had a successful tour down under. They beat the Aussies in the 5-day format & in the ODIs, the Aussies trailed 2-1. Then the revival happened.
The Aussies then toured India, lost the first two games & just when you thought they didn’t have enough oomph, the players stepped up. A 3-2 series win in India, a 5-0 series win against Pakistan & then the first team to make it to the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup. The Aussies do know how to work their way up & it
Clearly, the teams that have won the most games this year made it to the semis. The Aussies were beaten by India & South Africa in the round-robin stage. A stupendous hundred from Shikhar Dhawan handed them the first defeat. A contemptuous one to say the least. A graceful ton from the Proteas’ captain in their last league game was enough to push them to the second place on the points table.
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Where: Edgbaston, Birmingham
When: 11th July 2019, Thursday
Kick-Off Time: 3:00 PM, IST
The Aussies have a healthy overall record. They lead by 82-61. In the last 4 years, however, a transition in English cricket has created a colossal difference. The Aussies have won only 5 whilst the English seem to have got their act together. They’ve won 12. Australia last lost a World Cup game against England in 1992. Sir Ian Botham’s brilliant all-round performance helped the English beat the Aussies by 8 wickets. Since then, the old enemies have met 4 times with Australia winning all 4.
|Overall||Post-2015 WC||World Cups|
Edgbaston in Birmingham has the highest batting average (40.2) among all grounds at this World Cup. The 59-metre square boundary has grabbed all the attention & with power-hitters lined-up in both the squads a run feast is certainly guaranteed. The last time England played here at Edgbaston they smashed 13 sixes.
The average 1st innings score here in the last 3 years – 276 & 79% of the wickets here are picked by the pacers.
England are unbeaten in their last 10 matches in all forms at Edgbaston.
England will walk into the semi-finals without inflicting any changes. Adil Rashid will be the lone tweaker.
Usman Khawaja suffered a hamstring injury in the previous game & the Aussie think tank had already mentioned that Peter Handscomb will be making his ODI debut. Handscomb has scored 479 runs in 13 matches at 43.54 since 2018.
EXPECTED PLAYING XI
Aaron Finch(c), David Warner, Steve Smith, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey(wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon
Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(wk), Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid
THE JONNY-JASON PARTNERSHIP
Together, this English pair has created havoc & alone, they’ve not done badly either. Roy & Bairstow this year have been phenomenal. They’ve stitched 5 hundred runs partnership in 9 innings this year. In the 2019 World Cup, they’ve added three 100+ partnerships. 128 versus Bangladesh, 160 & 123 against India & New Zealand respectively.
It’s crystal clear that the Aussies have to make early inroads to control the flow of runs. Individually, they’ve had brilliant world cups. Bairstow has scored 462 runs in 9 innings, despite a couple of ducks. Jason Roy had suffered a hamstring injury & was out for three games. His contribution to this English team in the WC 2019 – 341 runs @ 68.20. (100’s -1 & 50’s -3)
In matches Roy & Bairstow didn’t open, England’s 1st wicket partnerships were 44, 1 & 0. They’ll be up against the quality of Mitchell Starc & Jason Behrendorff who swing the ball both ways. Who’ll come out on top?
|Highest Opening Wicket Partnerships|
|Aaron Finch & David Warner||AUS||662||73.55||3||3|
|KL Rahul & Rohit Sharma||IND||553||79||3||0|
|Jonny Bairstow & Jason Roy||ENG||424||84.8||3||0|
|Dimuth Karunaratne & Kusal Perera||SL||320||53.33||1||2|
The Aussie pair of Aaron Finch & David Warner has been the most effective(in terms of runs) opening partnership in World Cup 2019. They’ve added 662 runs at 73.55 but the English pair has the highest average. Who will get their team off to a flying start? The left-right duo of Finch & Warner or the Jonny-Jason pair?
David Warner is the real “Man of Steel”. Get the “S” out & replace it with a “W”. It’s been a little over a year since Sandpaper Gate happened. Warner persisted, made his way into the World Cup squad & has responded in the best way possible. With the willow. The England crowds are infamous for their hostility but none of the banter has been able to do a number on David Warner. “Hey Warner, leave those ball alone” to the tune of Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd being the latest jab at the pugnacious southpaw.
The Boos & the mocking has in fact gotten the best out of Warner. With 638 runs at 79.75, Warner is now only 10 behind Rohit Sharma & only 35 behind Sachin Tendulkar’s gargantuan 673. We’ve seen the dasher bat over the years & never has he looked so immensely focussed. The feet move swiftly, the hands work in synergy & the timing has gone up a notch. Warner’s strike-rate in the World Cup 2019 – 89.48.The southpaw now values his wicket & the English pacers have to hit the area just outside off to disturb his serene form.
|Warner’s Strike-rates(Since 2015)|
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