Eighth edition of ICC Champions Trophy set to witness a thrilling battle between hot favorite England and two times champions Australia. This encounter is must win for Australia having secured only two points out of two washed-out games. Meanwhile, England have already qualified for semifinals so players express themselves without any added pressure.
England started their campaign as favorites and they have done everything right to justify the tag. They are yet to win this title however reached semifinal stage in 2009. Nevertheless, this time they have got a solid combination of potentially good players who can win title.
Eoin Morgan and co. would love to finish on top of group table by clinching straight third win. They won both games comprehensibly by 8 wickets and 87 runs against Bangladesh and New Zealand respectively. Host have performed in unison except Jason Roy whose performance would be concern for English team. However, despite the dismal show he is expected to keep his place in playing eleven because Morgan have shown faith in him in recent games.
Joe Root known for his consistency once again showing his class accumulating 197 run in just two games. His presence at No. 3 is boost for England, right-hand batsman not only scores big but builds a good platform for upcoming batsman. Alex Hales (151 runs) contribution cannot be ruled out at opening slot despite failure of Jason Roy he has taken responsibility at the top.
Liam Plunkett, right-hand fast bowler is ruling the wicket taking list with eight wickets to his name including two 4-fers. Inclusion of Adil Rashid came rewarding for England as he took two wickets and conceded only 47 runs of his 10 overs. England is expected to field same side as against New Zealand.
On the other hand, Australia faces must win situation which means loss here would see them out of this tournament and win push them into semifinals. They been lucky and unlucky against New Zealand and Bangladesh respectively because chasing they would have lost against New Zealand while they could have won against Bangladesh before rain played spoil sport on both occasion.
Since, Australia have not played full 50 overs in both matches due to rain so most of their player remains untested. Current form of Aaron Finch raises question is Australian camp that will he be given one more chance in crucial game?. Most of them might say no looking at Chris Lynn who is ready to have a blast Birmingham. As far as batting are concern they are expected to play same however only change they could make is replacing Aaron Finch with Chris Lynn.
Jos Hazlewood holds second spot in wicket-taking list with seven wickets wickets to his name. He destroyed Kiwis batting line-up in later part of the inning in first match where is chipped six wickets. Good news for Australia is Mitchell Starc came back to his rhythm in last game. Adam Zampa took two wickets in his possible four overs so it will be interesting to see if he gets a game or Australia decides to hit Edgbaston’s soil harder then John Hasting or Pat Cummins would be drafted into playing eleven.
England will take field as narrow favorite for this game. Overall, an entertaining and thrilling battle awaits if we get a full game tommorow.
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