World Cup 2019, Australia v England: 4 Key battles to watch out for
England came into the tournament as favourites but had a topsy-turvy group stage with six wins from nine matches. Australia, on the other hand claimed seven wins from nine matches and finished second on the points table.
Prior to this game, Australia have beaten England on two occasions, first during the warm-up games and one the other occasion, during a group stage match of the ongoing World Cup, a game which Australia clinched by 64 runs.
In the league phase, an Aaron Finch century helped Australia post 285-7 after 50 overs after which the left-arm pace duo of Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc combined to take nine wickets that derailed England's chase.
Apart from the importance of the knockout fixture, the fact that these two teams are arch-rivals will automatically spice up the match that is certain to bring out some mini-battles that could have a massive impact on the outcome of the game.
Here, we have a look at four battles which could come to the fore from this game.
#1 Pat Cummins Vs Joe Root
This is one battle that is set to feature England's most technical batsman and Australia's most improved limited-overs bowler. Although Pat Cummins hasn't been in scintillating form (13 wickets in 9 matches) in this World Cup, Australia will back him to dismiss a batsman who could get England out of any troublesome situation.
Joe Root has also had a terrific 2019 World Cup by scoring 500 runs so far. When it comes to previous battles between these two, Cummins has the upper hand, having taken Root's wicket on 3 occasions in 7 innings.
#2 Mitchell Starc Vs Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan
Mitchell Starc will be a big weapon for Australia against two of England's best batsmen, Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan. Starc can look to add to his four dismissals against Roy by bringing back the ball at pace like he so usually does. He also has a good record against Eoin Morgan due to the fact that the English skipper tends to be susceptible against short-pitch bowling. Morgan tends to generally struggle against left-arm pacers and this will be a key battle.
#3 Chris Woakes Vs David Warner
David Warner has been one of the most in-form batsmen in this World Cup. He looked to be batting at 60-70% of his best earlier in the tournament but has slowly come back at his very best. His knock against South Africa was his most fluent effort in the World Cup and England will want him back in the hut within the first five overs.
England's new ball bowler Chris Woakes will be handled with the responsibility of doing that and will take heart from the fact that he has taken Warner's wicket on three occasions in 10 innings.
#4 Adil Rashid Vs Aaron Finch and Steven Smith
England's leg-spinner Adil Rashid will be a key component against Aaron Finch and Steven Smith. Rashid has an incredibly good record against both Finch and Smith, having dismissed both the batsmen on nine occasions combined.
Rashid and most other leg-spinners haven't had a great time in the World Cup but the 31-year-old would hope to come back strong against two of Australia's vital cogs in their batting line up. Smith's wicket will be especially important, considering that the two batsmen who line up after him, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell haven't been in great form.
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