The age old rivalry resumes as the two pre-tournament favourites go head to head against each other at Lord’s. England will look to recover from their shocking defeat to Sri Lanka whereas Australia will look to compound England’s misery and create more hurdles in their opponent’s race to the semi-finals.
Head to head:-
In the 2015 World Cup, the contrast between the two teams was at its peak. While England were sent packing in before the knockout stages, Australia won the trophy for the fifth time in their home soil. Since then, England’s fearless and bold approach has set a new benchmark for ODI teams. Australia have followed England’s blue-print and this has resulted in several similarities between the two teams, some being the use of utility players and batting very deep.
In World Cup encounters, Australia boast of a 5-2 lead. The winner of this contest will hold a psychological advantage come the Ashes, and this amplifies the significance of this encounter.
Jason Roy’s hamstring injury was a big blow to England. They will not look to rush his return. His replacement James Vince has got a couple of decent starts but has not got going.
Australia will have concerns about Adam Zampa’s ineffectiveness in the middle overs. With Khawaja batting at number 3 and Stoinis back in the squad, Australia look a complete unit.
England:– Jonny Bairstow, James Vince, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood
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Australia:– David Warner, Aaron Finch(c), Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey(wk), Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa
Pitch and Conditions:-
This game will be only the second one to be played at the iconic Lord’s Stadium. The pitch for the South Africa vs Pakistan game wore a green tinge and had good carry and bounce. The unique up-hill boundary will be a challenge for the batsmen. The forecast predicts a predominantly sunny day with minimal cloud cover.
Jofra Archer vs Warner and Finch
The Aussie openers look in outstanding touch. Warner is carving his own niche and adapting brilliantly and Finch is aggressive from the start. They are a formidable opening pair and Jofra Archer will have his task cut out. Archer will look to use bounce to trouble the top order and get early wickets.
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Mitchell Starc vs Jos Buttler
At the fag end of the innings, this will be a battle to look out for and quite possibly one which can decide the fate of the game
Steve Smith vs Joe Root
Two of the best batsmen in the world will look to contribute significantly to their respective team’s victories. Both are in the form of their life and are hungry for runs, making this a mouth watering clash. Bowlers will have special plans in place for these two batsmen.
Australia’s recent run of good performances will pile up the pressure on England batsmen to live up to their billing. They will want to show that the collapse against Sri Lanka was a one-off and will look to silence their critics and doubters.
Also published on Medium.