Australia or England to Start Ashes Test: World Cup’s knockout stage is set. India-New Zealand will play the remainder of the first semi-final today in Manchester. The second semi-final is between Australia and England. This game is more fierce and intense than the first semi-final given the Ashes rivals are set to take each other on, in Birmingham. The victory will give England a chance to come close to their first ever World Cup win, however, if Australia earn Lord’s date, they’ll play for their 6th World Cup title.
Australia or England to Start Ashes Test: England’s campaign has been a mixed bag as they lost to both Pakistan and Sri Lanka, both of whom are out of this competition. Australia and England played in a league match when Australia crushed England by 64 runs in Lord’s. Ben Stokes played a fine knock but it was Starc who demolished England’s batting line-up. The delivery to Stokes, a late in-swinging yorker, was the delivery of the tournament.
England beat India and New Zealand to earn a semi-final spot, finishing third on the table. England played their last couple of games in Birmingham and they’ve been in town for the last 10 days. This should tilt in favour of the hosts as they seem to be better prepared to play on the wicket and have momentum going.
Australia, on the other hand, lost the last game against South Africa by 10 runs and their top-order batsman Khawaja is also ruled out for the remainder of the World Cup. Stoinis too have injury concerns, which also affected him earlier in the tournament that saw him miss two games.
Australia would be looking for the right combination against England given their injury concerns and the gravity of the game.
This is set to be one of the games of this World Cup. It is expected to be a close content and it would be tough to pick a winner. Having said that, there has been a marked area of concern for either side. Both teams have lost matches while chasing. Australia lost their games against India and South Africa, chasing 300 plus totals. England too, lost their 3 games while chasing against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia.
Both teams, somehow, lost their way in the run chases and succumbed to pressure. But come the semi-final, both would be looking to iron out the flaws. Toss is going to be crucial, as stats would also suggest and teams would be hoping for some luck.
Both teams have in-form openers. While England’s opening duo of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow are in good nick, having stitched partnerships in excess of 100 in the last couple of games, Australia’s best batsmen in the World Cup have been their openers too. Their middle order is shaky and with Khawaja out, only Carey of the remaining batsmen has been among runs. As for England, they have had the likes of Root, Morgan and Stokes come to party and with Buttler too in the ranks, England seem miles ahead of Australia.
England’s pace attack is dependent on Woakes and Archer with Plunkett and Wood playing the support role. Rashid is a key bowler in the middle overs but hasn’t come good. As for Australia, their pace attack is among the best in the World Cup. The fiery duo of Starc and Cummins, supported by Jason Behrendoff could rund down batting line-ups.
The fans can expect a crunch thriller in Birmingham. It has seemingly been a batting wicket and given the strengths of both sides, it is going to be a battle between England’s batting and Australia’s bowling. Australia would need to somehow restrict England and hope their batsmen can do the job, while England would hope their batsmen can get the job done.