posted on 2019-07-10 12:56:00
posted by Michael Harrison
Image courtesy: India Ahead
England: J Bairstow, J Roy, J Root, E Morgan, B Stokes, J Buttler, C Woakes, J Archer, A Rashid, L Plunkett/M Ali, M Wood
Australia: D Warner, A Finch, S Smith, P Handscomb, G Maxwell, M Stoinis, A Carey, M Starc, P Cummins, J Behrendorff, N Lyon
Australia's new finisher, Alex Carey, has been on song this World Cup. Read more: https://cricxtasy.com/blog/squiggle/icc-cricket-world-cup-2019-england-vs-australia-2nd-semifinal-key-battle-dynamics-of-carey
Arguably the match of the year so far, tournament hosts England take on arch-rivals Australia for a spot in the final and with the Ashes not far away, the winner will gain a psychological advantage. The two teams faced each other twice, once in a warm-up game and then in the league stages, both of which were won by Australia.
Ironically for a side that didn't lose a game chasing for the past four years approximately, it's batting second that seems to be England's vulnerability. They have the batting depth to gun down any target but against bowling attacks that are relentless in maintaining pressure, the batsmen have been found wanting in terms of temperament.
Otherwise, England are a well-oiled side that's regained significant momentum with the two successive wins over India and New Zealand. The bowling, though still a bit dodgy, has seen a boost with Jofra Archer's inclusion. Batting still remains their major weapon and the only change they might think about, is regarding Moeen Ali for Liam Plunkett.
Despite the loss to South Africa, the fight shown in the run chase till the very end shows the mental space that Australia are in at present. All the ghosts of 2018 seem a thing of the past now. Losing Usman Khawaja is a big blow though, but in Peter Handscomb, they have a form batsman who actually should have been in the squad. This shows the depth of the unit.
The bowling unit has got a better dimension with the addition of Jason Behrendorff who has relished the new ball spells while Nathan Lyon has given enough control with his off breaks. With Mitchell Starc running riots, Pat Cummins' slight dip in form of late has gone unnoticed. He is a big game player though and should be alright.
Will be updated shortly.
Odds and Predictions
This is going to be a really tough game to predict. Both teams are quite evenly matched in terms of team balance and current form. While Australia beat England twice already in this competition, England haven't lost a game at Edgbaston in their last 10 encounters. Considering the big-match ability of this Australian squad, I'm going in with 53-47 in favor of the defending champions.