An unexpected loss for England against Sri Lanka added a bit of spice to the 2019 ICC World Cup (WC) battle between old rivals, as the Lord’s gets ready for the Ashes curtain riser.
Two losses out of six cuts England’s advantage over fifth-placed Sri Lanka to just two points. The alarm bells could be a bit premature, considering England have won 85% of their last 20 completed home ODIs. Furthermore, they haven’t lost consecutive ODIs since doing so against India in January 2017.
One has to go further back to September 2015 to find the last instance of England losing consecutive home ODIs, ironically to Australia. Although Lord’s is not England’s favourite venue (losing nine of 15 here), their recent form of three wins in four makes good reading.
England continue to miss the dynamism of Jason Roy at the top, who has a career SR of 107.06, and a calendar year SR of 120.50. Thankfully, the pace duo of Mark Wood (12 wickets) and Jofra Archer (15) continue to scorch the turf and make up for the loss of runs. Regardless, England have a big task on their hands, as they haven’t beaten any of their next three opponents – Australia, New Zealand and India – at the WC since ‘92 (T1, L9).
Proving that writing them off is always precarious, Australia have stitched together 13 wins in 14 ODIs. Wins in 11 of their last 12 WC ODIs also speaks of their ‘big tournament’ pedigree. The loss to India in this tournament was Australia’s lone loss in WC ODIs in England since May 1999 (W11, L1, T1). Contrary to England’s form at this venue, Australia have lost just once in their last 11 visits here (W9, L1, T1).
David Warner’s runs (447) have been crucial for Australia, with the opener showing his true aggressive style – improving his SR from 71.84 in the first three matches to 97.71 over the last three. Living up to expectations, Mitchell Starc (15 wickets) and Pat Cummins (11) have been hunting in a pair.
Probable Playing XI
James Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (C), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (WK), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood
David Warner, Aaron Finch (C), Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (WK), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa.
ENG vs AUS – Players to watch out for
Jonny Bairstow averages 68 in his last four bats against Australia in home ODIs.
Aaron Finch averages 50.13 (career avg. 40.80) against England and has picked up 42.86% of his career 100s (six of 14) against them.
England have won ten of the last 11 H2Hs including the last six. England have won the last six H2H ODIs at home since their last loss in September 2015.
Australia have won eight of 14 H2H ODIs at this venue, and five of the last six.
Australia’s last four WC wins have seen them bat first. Fifteen of the first 25 results at this WC were won by the team batting first.
Five of the last seven results at this venue favoured the team batting first.