A semi-final loss in 1979. A loss in 1987 final. Heartbreak in 2003 and a loss at the home of cricket in Lord’s. When one looks at England’s World Cup story against Australia, it is the stuff of nightmares. For 27 years, England has been haunted by the Australia bogey. Heading into the semi-final, all these thoughts will play a major factor in determining how Eoin Morgan goes about in a tournament where they were dubbed the favourites. Before the semi-final, Joe Root had said that if England beat Australia and win the final, the atmosphere for cricket would be reminiscent of the atmosphere which was created in the 2005 Ashes when England won the Ashes after 16 years.
Ever since the debacle of 2015 when England was routed and humiliated, they have made giant strides in ODI cricket. New England have regularly displayed their aggression and flair against every opposition. Four years of planning, execution and building have all boiled down to this. A semi-final against the old enemy. A win against Australia will put them in a magnificent position to shed their tag of perennial underachievers and come one step closer to the grand title. For the nation that invented the sport, July 11 is one step in the step of World Cup glory and possibly Ashes glory.
Australia is ravaged by injuries with Usman Khawaja ruled out. With Shaun Marsh's injury, Australia has had to call-up reinforcements. For England, they look more settled and they would be desperate to put up a solid performance as compared to Lord's. There is plenty of firepower in the batting for both teams, with David Warner in prime form and Aaron Finch also in prime form. Jos Buttler, Joe Root and Ben Stokes will hold the key but the impetus will be given by the opening duo of Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy.
Australia Probable XI: David Warner, Aaron Finch(c), Steven Smith, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey(w), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon
England Probable XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood
Who will win?
England is desperate to break their 27-year jinx against Australia. After losing their league game at Lord's, the hosts will be desperate to avenge years of pain against their old rivals and hurt them before the Ashes.
Weather and Pitch
Like in Manchester, the weather for Birmingham is also not looking too promising. There are 40 per cent chances of rain and scattered showers are forecast for the day.
Stadium and Timings
The encounter will take place at Edgbaston, Birmingham at 15:00 pm IST local.