Cricket World Cup 2019 Semi Final 2 Preview – England take on defending champions for a place in the finals

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Cricket World Cup 2019 Semi Final 2 Preview – England take on defending champions for a place in the finals
Cricket World Cup 2019 Semi Final 2 Preview – England take on defending champions for a place in the finals
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England who has had a topsy-turvy kind of tournament so far will now take on a strong Aussie side in the all-important semi-final game at Edgbaston. England loves playing on that ground and would have been happy when the semi-final line up was finalized. The England batting and bowling has been coming together nicely towards the end of the league phase which will give the hosts lots of confidence. Jason Roy at the top has added the right amount of confidence to the line up which was losing its way in his absence. Jonny Bairstow came back to his own by scoring back to back hundreds and with Joe Root and Eoin Morgan in the top four, England has an enviable batting line-up. England bowling has been performing well with Liam Plunkett doing extremely well in the middle overs. They have pace with Mark Wood and Jofra Archer along with Chris Woakes who can swing the new ball.

Adil Rashid is probably their only concern as he hasn’t been getting wickets in the middle overs like he has been doing over the last couple of years. Jos Buttler hasn’t been scoring many runs as well after his 100 against Pakistan which will be a minor concern for England as well.

Australia though has been brilliant in this world cup despite their minor setback against South Africa in their last league game. They have also been plagued with several injuries which means they will have to play with a different XI to the one they have been playing so far in this tournament. Their biggest positive is the opening combination of David Warner and Aaron Finch, both have been in brilliant form. Mitchell Starc with the ball has been phenomenal with 26 wickets ably supported by Jason Behrendorff and Pat Cummins. Usman Khawaja who has been doing well for them in this tournament has been ruled out, so Peter Handscomb will be making his World Cup debut. Marcus Stoinis is doubtful as well and Mitchell Marsh has a chance to make it to the XI as well. With all these changes, Australia will be hoping that the experience of Steven Smith and David Warner will get them across the line.

Head to head:

Australia has had upper hand over England historically in ODIs but again in recent times, England has been the dominant side. In the world cups though Australia has been the better side with a 6-2 record with their last win coming in the ongoing tournament in the league phase.

Key Players:

David Warner (Australia): Warner has been Australia’s best batter in this tournament and he will once again be looking to set the tone at the top with Aaron Finch. He has been playing differently this tournament and has been taking time at the start which has helped him immensely. Edgbaston is traditionally a high scoring ground which would mean a good start will be essential.

Mitchell Starc (Australia): Mitchell Starc has been the best bowler in this world cup by a mile. With 26 wickets already in the tournament, he has been brilliant with the new ball as well at the death. England’s strength is their openers and he will be looking to dismiss them soon in this all-important game.

Jason Roy (England): Jason Roy showed how much England have been missing him with a couple of brilliant knocks at the top since his return. He will once again be expected to set the tone at the top against some very good Australian new-ball attack.

Chris Woakes (England): Chris Woakes bowled brilliantly in the previous game both these teams played but without much luck. He is one English bowler who can swing the new ball and will be crucial at the start. If England needs to restrict Australia they need to dismiss their openers soon and Woakes has the best chance of doing the same.

What they said?

“The support we have had throughout the tournament has been unbelievable and certainly something I have never experienced in my life. The amount of good faith and goodwill going around is fantastic, so we sense the support that’s with us, but also the opportunity as well.” Said Eoin Morgan ahead of their semi-final game against Australia

“World Cups are very special. They bring out the best in the best players, so I think that’s why Australia has had a very rich history in World Cups. I mean, winning four of the last five, it’s been a great achievement.” Said Aaron Finch regarding Australia’s legacy in the World Cups

Probable XIs:

Australia XI:

Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steve Smith, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon

England XI:

Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid

Both these teams are really strong and the game for sure will be hard-fought. The hosts though will start as slight favorites due to the fact that they love playing in this venue and know how to utilize the dimensions of the ground to their advantage. Australia, on the other hand, have some forced changes in the XI and will be worried due to the lack of runs from their star player Steven Smith. This will be a great contest and will be decided by the new ball. The team which picks wickets in the first few overs will have the upper hand.

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