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CWC 2019 – England v Australia: 5 key talking points

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Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey

CWC 2019 – England v Australia: 5 key talking points. ENG vs AUS: 5 key talking points from their 2019 World Cup match

England skipper Eoin Morgan, confidently and stoutly, said he wouldn’t stop fans from booing Steve Smith and David Warner. However, by the time he top edged a hook shot straight down fine leg’s throat, he may have been inclined to make sure no one was booing his own team.

An important day for England ended in more disappointment. The pre-tournament favourites now find themselves in a scrap for fourth place. Yet again, their chasing in pressure situations was a far cry to what they have been achieving in bilateral assignments. Worse, they’ve fallen to the arch-enemy again, with their winless streak against Australia in World Cups still stretched right back to 1992.

Australia were outstanding with the ball. They saw a weakness and exploited it. Indeed, the way England are going, and looking at their fixtures remaining, they could very well not have the chance to rectify their poor record against Australia in World Cups in this tournament. As a result, even Kevin Pietersen and Michael Vaughan are now very nervous.

Below are five key talking points from Australia’s comprehensive 64-run win.

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1. England’s fatal lack of adaptability to the conditions

In a game of this magnitude, you almost always back the team batting first. I did before the game. However, looking at the assistance on offer for bowlers right throughout the day, you couldn’t begrudge England for choosing to bowl first.

However, what you could begrudge them for was the lengths they bowled. They were too short in the early overs, bowling a length for a flat pitch, highlighting their lack of adaptability to the conditions. According to CricViz, 46% of Australia’s balls in the opening five overs were pitched full, where two brought about wickets. Compare that to England who bowled just 27% at the same stage. Indeed, you can talk about false shots from the Australians, but when you are bowling too short, it is common knowledge that the ball will often miss the edge. Despite the fightback in the final overs, the damage was done with Australia’s huge opening stand.

Also, England’s lack of adaptability is very closely associated with their batting. Hell-bent on an all-guns-blazing strategy for four years, England look lost for answers on pitches with assistance for the bowlers, stuck between playing their natural game or focusing on accumulation. Eoin Morgan’s innings highlighted England’s muddled mindset. So too Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root. Their batting has been so under par that it even has Kevin Pietersen, who last week said to hand over the World Cup to England, very worried.

2. Australia’s bowling attack strikes (green and) gold

The make up of Australia’s attack in CWC 2019 has made for plenty of discussion. That they found themselves top of the standings with five wins and a single loss is testament to Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. However, if they are to generate proper momentum in this tournament, they couldn’t just rely on these two.

Jason Behrendhorff’s inclusion was an excellent call. The decision to open with him was even better. Not only because of his ability to swing and seam the ball early, but also because in the back of England’s minds, Pat Cummins is still to come. Behrendhorff was outstanding, focusing on bringing the England batsmen forward, accounting for James Vince with a magnificent inswinger and then Jonny Bairstow as the pressure grew en route to a brilliant five-wicket haul.

The make up of this Australian attack, which included the miserly Nathan Lyon, had a much better feel to it. Of course, when you have Mitchell Starc in the kind of form he is, any decent support is good enough to take Australia to the next level. The yorker to Ben Stokes will surely have us in awe for a long while to come, finishing with four of his own to combine for nine wickets with Behrendhorff in left-arm mayhem for England.

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3. Australia’s batting conundrum

For all their victories in CWC 2019, the question of Australia’s batting line up remains. Steve Smith looked in terrific touch. However, he was wasted at four, dismissed in the 46th over after facing just 34 balls. He cut a frustrated figure walking off the field.

Smith should now bat at three. He is Australia’s best batsman. However, does Usman Khawaja have it in him to bat at four and keep the momentum going? His strike rate for the tournament is close to 100, but this was skewed by his 89 off 72 against a Bangladesh side that had a bad day with the ball at Trent Bridge. Also, 94 of his 210 runs have come in boundaries, showing that there a few too many dot balls for Australia’s liking when starting out. So, if Khawaja does get tasked with batting at four, he needs to be proactive from the word go.

Also, Alex Carey looks in fine touch, and could very well be primed for a move up the order. However, there is the problem of Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell. Stoinis’ rotation of strike early in his innings is non-existent, appearing to audition for an Ashes spot rather than catapult Australia over 300. Maxwell has more in him, but yet another early dismissal against pace creates doubt about his reliability to bat cause damage for extended periods. Despite Australia’s fantastic record in CWC 2019 to date, their middle order is something to sort out ahead of the Semi Finals.

CWC 2019 - England v Australia: 5 key talking points. ENG vs AUS: 5 key talking points from their 2019 World Cup match. 2019 Cricket World Cup talking points
Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images. England v Australia: 5 key talking points – Steve Smith should be batting at three.

4. Aaron Finch’s mindset shows where Australia are at

Aaron Finch enjoys playing England. His 100 in this crucial match was his fifth against them in ODIs, central to a fine record that reads 1,253 runs in 26 ODIs at an average of 52.20. Better, he and David Warner are now the top two run-scorers at CWC 2019.

However, it is 100 and out for Finch against England. His five hundreds have yielded a highest score of 108. Of course, while any century is a fine achievement, Finch almost inconsolable in the dressing room showed that ‘good enough’ is not enough for Australia at this World Cup. When the captain has that attitude, others will follow, and that can hold Australia in fine stead.

5. Will England MISS the Semi Finals?

England’s record over the past four years and home advantage means they should still believe they can reach the Semi Finals. However, that brings with it significant pressure that Eoin Morgan’s side has not seemed to deal well with in CWC 2019. It was not supposed to be like this, with Morgan accepting the favouritism tag before the tournament by confidently stating he’d “rather be favourites than no chance.”

Now, England have India and New Zealand in their final two games, and need to aim to win both to boost their chances of qualifying. They have not beaten India in a World Cup game since 1992. The drought extends to 1983 against New Zealand. Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are all breathing down their neck, and one win for England might yet not be enough to progress.

Remaining fixtures:

  • England: India, New Zealand.
  • Pakistan: New Zealand, Afghanistan, Bangladesh.
  • Bangladesh: India, Pakistan.
  • Sri Lanka: South Africa, West Indies, India.

The pressure is now well and truly on. Whether England can handle it remains to be seen.

CWC 2019 - England v Australia: 5 key talking points. ENG vs AUS: 5 key talking points from their 2019 World Cup match. 2019 Cricket World Cup talking points
England v Australia: 5 key talking points – Nervous times for skipper Morgan.

Download: Making cricket an interactive experience! Discover Harrison Cricket Apps ODI version. For full screenshots, click here.

Thanks for reading!

CWC 2019 – England v Australia: 5 key talking points. ENG vs AUS: 5 key talking points from their 2019 World Cup match

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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