Australia bat first against England in semifinals
July 11, 2019 03:07 pm
Australian captain Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to bat as his side squares off against England in the second semifinal at Edgbaston on Thursday.
The old foes battle it out in a match that will determine who gets to play New Zealand in the final on Sunday.
The defending champions have made just one change from their last outing, with Peter Handscomb replacing the injured Usman Khawaja, with Steve Smith moving up the order to three, while England are unchanged.
The hosts skipper, Eoin Morgan was not perturbed at losing the toss, saying his side did not mind chasing.
“We’re not really bothered, before the World Cup we preferred to chase, so whoever plays the best cricket will go through,” Morgan said at the toss.
An England win means a brand new champion will be crowned when the competition concludes on Sunday, as neither the hosts nor New Zealand – who stunned India to make the last two – have ever lifted the sport’s most prestigious trophy.
For Australia, it’s a chance for them to reassert their dominance in the Cricket World Cup and move a step closer towards claiming the big prize an unprecedented sixth time.
According to coach Justin Langer, the Aussies know defending their title will not come easy, especially with a hurdle as big as the host nation.
“I have maintained it from day one, England are going to be really hard to beat in this tournament. Regardless of what happens, they can be very proud of what they have achieved in the past four years. They have been the benchmark side,” he said in the lead-up to the semifinal.
The Aussies will be desperate to bounce back from the disappointment of their last round-robin encounter, when they lost to South Africa at Old Trafford on Saturday.
For England, there are no issues with regaining winning momentum, following the two wins on the bounce.
The host nation bounced back from a defeat against the very same Aussies to beat India and New Zealand, and continuing in that vein will be crucial at this juncture.
Australia: Aaron Finch (captain), David Warner, Steve Smith, Peter Handscombe, Marcus Stionis, Glen Maxwell, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon.
England: Johnny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Joss Buttler, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.