Australia aims to silence UK crowd in second World Cup semi-final
Hostile crowds don’t bother the Australians when it comes to winning cricket matches, they’ve been impressive throughout this tournament in England and look well-poised for another shot at that elusive title known as the ICC Cricket World Cup. It’s no secret that Australia is dominant when it comes to winning World Cups – 1999, 2003, 2007 & 2015 boasts an incredible record over a 17-year period. With the home ground advantage, England isn’t without a chance though. Labelled as potential World Cup-candidates to take out the 2019 title on home soil, a few slip-ups along the way have pushed them back a bit. Granted the rain stays away long enough for a result, expect a hard-fought game of cricket with everything to play for!
Australia’s recent loss to the Proteas gives England some hope ahead of this second-semi at Edgbaston, the Aussies did however beat the hosts by a comfortable-64 runs earlier in the tournament. It was a rather-bumpy road to the 2019 World Cup finals for England, but they eventually made it, and that’s all that counts. With rain affecting yesterday’s first semi-final between India and New Zealand at Old Trafford, it’s unknown who will be the first team to progress through to the World Cup final, however India look the likeliest to do so. Aussie quick Mitchell Starc looks to be back to his lethal-best with the ball in this World Cup which flags immediate-danger for England. Starc is currently the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 26 wickets and has been well-supported by the likes of Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson throughout Australia’s campaign. It will be an intriguing-battle between both teams openers with the bat, Jonny Bairstow’s has registered back-to-back hundreds along with the return of Jason Roy who has posted consecutive-fifties.
On the other side of the fence, Australia’s openers have combined for a total of 1145 runs in this World Cup which is a phenomenal statistic. Currently sitting second to only Rohit Sharma in the leading run-scorers, David Warner is averaging 79.75 and looks to be back to his destructive-best, just like teammate Mitchell Starc is with the ball. Warner’s free-flowing 122 in Australia’s last group stage match against South Africa sees the 32-year-old in ominous touch, the Aussies aren’t without their problems though. The injury to Usman Khawaja means that Peter Handscomb will come into the XI, just recently confirmed by coach Justin Langer. It appears that star all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is also on the cusp of being axed from the side which is a bit of a shock as well. Given Glenn Maxwell and Ben Stokes are renowned X factors for their respected sides, “the big show” would be a huge loss to Australia. England have a really good spread of seam bowlers, Jofra Archer being the most notable with 17 wickets in the tournament closely-followed by Mark Wood on 16. It’s hard to separate these two teams, however England probably has the more potent middle-order of the two.
Top 5 fantasy picks – Australia
- Mitchell Starc
- David Warner
- Steve Smith
- Aaron Finch
- Jason Behrendorff
Wildcard pick – Peter Handscomb
Top 5 fantasy picks – England
- Ben Stokes
- Jonny Bairstow
- Jofra Archer
- Mark Wood
- Jos Buttler
Wildcard pick – Chris Woakes
Predicted Team XI’s
Australia (possible) – 1. David Warner 2. Aaron Finch (c) 3. Steve Smith 4. Peter Handscomb 5. Marcus Stoinis/Matthew Wade 6. Glenn Maxwell/Mitchell Marsh 7. Alex Carey (wk) 8. Pat Cummins 9. Mitchell Starc 10. Jason Behrendorff 11. Nathan Lyon.
England (possible) – 1. Jason Roy 2. Jonny Bairstow 3. Joe Root 4. Eoin Morgan (c) 5. Ben Stokes 6. Jos Buttler (wk) 7. Moeen Ali/Liam Plunkett 8. Chris Woakes 9. Adil Rashid 10. Jofra Archer 11. Mark Wood.
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.