Old rivals Australia and England will battle it out for a place in the Cricket World Cup when they meet in the semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday.
England will start as favourites, but Australia have the memory of victory when the sides met in the group stage. Who will win the one that counts most?
Australia have enjoyed heavy batting successes. David Warner (638 runs, Avg. 79.75) and Aaron Finch (507, Avg. 56.33) have been sensational but injuries to Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis have certainly thrown question marks over their preparations.
Thankfully for Australia, their fast bowling duo of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins have picked up 29 wickets between them. Add to that the fact that Nathan Lyon (ER 4.55) has stepped up gives impetus to their campaign.
The hosts would have been mentally preparing for India, but Australia’s loss to South Africa has turned the tables. England will, however, enjoy the fact that they have won their last four ODIs at this venue.
The return of Jason Roy (341 runs, SR 114.04) has invigorated the side that has looked short of aggression in their two losses this tournament. All eyes will be on Jofra Archer (17 wickets) and Mark Wood (16), who have been brilliant with their pace.
- Australia have won 15 of their last 17 ODIs.
- 11 of Australia’s last 12 ODIs, including the last eight have been won by the team batting first.
- Australia are unbeaten in seven WC semi-finals (W6, T1).
- Nine of England’s last ten ODIs have been won by the team batting first.
- England have won their last two WC ODIs, but have won three ODIs in a row only once since the 2003 WC.
- England have not beaten Australia since 1992 in the WCs, losing the last four.
England have enjoyed recent success against Australia, despite losing to them in this tournament. They will hope to catch the Kangaroos on the wrong foot, considering the injuries that are currently plaguing the Aussie camp.
The ground dimensions could be an important factor. The England vs India game played here has worked out perfectly for the aggressive England side, which could once again come to their advantage in this fixture.
The return of Roy should also be a catalyst for England, and they would certainly look to make it to their first WC final since 1992.
Prediction: England to score the highest first 15 overs ($1.72 TopBetta)