Thursday, July 18, 2019 | ePaper
England seek resurgence against arch-rivals Australia
The aisles and stands at the iconic Lord's will neither be empty, nor quiet, as cricket's oldest rivals face off in the 32nd match of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 on Tuesday, 25 June.
England, who started their World Cup campaign with four resounding wins from their first five games, suffered a shocking 20-run defeat against Sri Lanka on Friday. The hosts, who came into the tournament as overwhelming favourites, now enter the toughest phase of their competition, marked by three tough games, starting with the one against Australia, needing a win. To add to their woes is the unavailability of Jason Roy, who has been sidelined due to hamstring injury.
Australia, powered by some monumental contributions from their openers and the wicket-taking form of their strike bowlers, currently occupy the second position in the points table, with five wins in six matches. Marcus Stoinis' return has further bolstered the team's balance, as the all-rounder returned figures of 2/54 in the previous game, against Bangladesh. The middle-order, which hasn't been able to contribute significantly in their last three games, is likely to face a stiff challenge against a well-rounded England attack.
Australia are ahead on the head-to-head count, with 81 wins to England's 61. However, the hosts have had an edge over the five-time World Cup winners in recent times, having won nine of the last ten games against them. With the stakes high for England, and Australia looking to continue their dominance, an exciting contest could be on the cards on Tuesday.
Jos Buttler (England): The wicket-keeper batsman has the potential to change the course of any match with his exemplary batting skills. Buttler, who scored a match-winning 110* in his last outing against Australia, will once again be an important player for the hosts, against an in-form Australian bowling unit.
Aaron Finch (Australia): The Australia captain has been leading from the front in this tournament, having amassed 396 runs in six innings so far. Finch, who set the tone for Australia's World Cup campaign in 2015 with a stroke-filled 135 against England, will once again look to play a long innings on Tuesday.
Though lingering overnight rain is expected to ease out by morning, the day is expected to be largely cloudy. Heavy and thundery showers might develop, leading to a delayed start. Teams batting first have won three of the last four games at Lord's, which makes the toss crucial.
England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon.