Ashes-rivals meet in World Cup blockbuster
England are well & truly under the pump coming into this crucial World Cup clash at Lord’s. It all began when the hosts self-destructed against the Sri Lankan’s at Headingley, a win would’ve just about sealed England a place in the semi-finals. Instead, they find themselves fighting for survival as they prepare to take down a boisterous-Australian outfit. With two tough games remaining in the group stage fixture against Australia and India, the hosting nation and one of the World Cup favorites are a big-chance to miss the World Cup semi’s. Who would’ve thought?
It’s that time of the tournament where every win is like gold dust, especially for a team like England who’ve slipped up at perhaps the worst possible moment. Credit to Sri Lanka, they came in as the underdogs and delivered a major upset against a team that looked just about unstoppable on their home turf. England’s most-recent loss has now opened the door for three more teams which is exactly what you don’t want to do in a World Cup. With star-opening batsman Jason Roy still under an injury cloud, England are in desperate need of a dominant-opener that can match Australia’s dynamic-duo of David Warner and Aaron Finch. The returning-Warner is currently averaging almost 90 in this year’s ICC World Cup, skipper Aaron Finch has been just as destructive with an average of 66. Joe Root has been England’s best with 424 runs in the tournament, he’s been a class act at No. 3 for his side but needs support. There’s been flashes of brilliance from Ben Stokes and skipper Eoin Morgan, one man they’ll be relying on to cut loose is the dynamic-Jos Buttler. With a combined-26 wickets in the tournament, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins loom as major-threats to England’s Word Cup aspirations.
England must play to their strengths in this game, stick to their plans and hope for the best. The English quick’s will no-doubt be targeting Aaron Finch’s front pad which has been a bit of a weak spot for the Aussie skipper. Jofra Archer and Mark Wood have been superb for England in this World Cup, Chris Woakes on the other hand needs to lift his output with the ball. The bowling all-rounder has taken just 5 wickets in six outings with the new ball, economy has prevailed over dismissals so far for Woakes. An early breakthrough could potentially expose Australia’s unproven middle-order with the likes of Khawaja, Maxwell and Stoinis not quite in sync with the openers yet. Nullifying Steve Smith’s influence with the bat will be key, the aggressive & slightly-unorthodox Glenn Maxwell might also throw a spanner in the works. There’s not many faults in Australia’s bowling attack, that’s why England must target the spin (or lack of) of Adam Zampa. Hard to get away at his best, Zampa hasn’t been the effective-spinner Australia were hoping for. It looks as if Nathan Lyon is on the outer, it’s been a questionable call not to play him so far.
Top 5 fantasy picks – England
- Jofra Archer
- Joe Root
- Ben Stokes
- Jos Buttler
- Jonny Bairstow
Wildcard pick – Moeen Ali
Top 5 fantasy picks – Australia
- David Warner
- Mitchell Starc
- Glenn Maxwell
- Pat Cummins
- Steve Smith
Wildcard pick – Usman Khawaja
Predicted Team XI’s
England (possible) – 1. James Vince 2. Jonny Bairstow 3. Joe Root 4. Eoin Morgan (c) 5. Jos Buttler (wk) 6. Ben Stokes 7. Moeen Ali 8. Chris Woakes 9. Jofra Archer 10. Adil Rashid 11. Mark Wood.
Australia (possible) – 1. Aaron Finch (c) 2. David Warner 3. Usman Khawaja 4. Steve Smith 5. Glenn Maxwell 6. Marcus Stoinis 7. Alex Carey (wk) 8. Nathan Coulter-Nile 9. Pat Cummins 10. Mitchell Starc 11. Adam Zampa.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.