World Cup 2019 Semi-Finals Preview: England vs Australia

Published 07/07/2019, 8:21 AM EDT
England vs Australia


England vs Australia it is. A rivalry that has roots long before any of the current set of players were even born. A battle for ultimate supremacy. A fight to earn the urn. It has generally been a battle for the black played in whites. This time though, the ultimate prize is not the urn. And the kits will be a little more colourful. A place in the final of the cricketing world’s biggest competition is what is at stakes this time. England and Australia will be competing in the second semi-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

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With The Ashes set in August, the second semi-final will be a grand stage for the protagonists to script an elevated prelude to it. When Mitchell Starc bowls to Joe Root, he will have his eyes on the 36.5 cm World Cup as much as on the 11 cm urn. When David Warner faces Mark Wood, he will know he might have to do it again on the same venue and from the same end, but in different colours and a completely different context, but with the same intensity.

Australia’s dominance or England’s resurgence?

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In ODIs overall as well as in World Cups, Australia have a clear edge over England. Australia lead England 82 to 64 in 145 ODIs overall and six to two in eight World Cup games. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the fact that Australia have been one of the most dominant ODI teams over the past three decades. They have won five of the 11 World Cups so far and England have won none.

With The Ashes set in August, the second semi-final will be a grand stage for the protagonists to script an elevated prelude to it.

But with the rise of many other teams, Australian cricket is no longer as dominant as it was. And more importantly, England is no longer the same team. 2015 saw England’s resurgence in ODI cricket. It is like the year when Jesus Christ was born in the history of Christianity. Or birth of ‘intent’ if it was to be coined in the language of the recent critics on Indian cricket. England started the World Cup 2019 tournament as favourites and have lived up to the tag in most of the matches so far.

Eoin Morgan

On the other hand, India and New Zealand play the first World Cup semi-finals on Tuesday and both England and Australia will know their opponents well before the match, not that it matters a lot. The match-up looks even. But Australia have been there, done that. England, though will feel the pressure to be there and do that. The pressure of being the favourites and also that of winning the first World Cup of a sport which they had invented.

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Saketh Kandadai

1758 articles

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