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    Written by Nick Knight
    Jos buttler Harry Brook

    ENG vs AUS World Cup Preview: As old rivals meet, expect Ahmedabad to witness a blockbuster of a game

    November 3, 2023

    England have had a tough time in India during this Word Cup. But it is not over yet. There is a still a lot to play for, especially when England meet their old foes Australia. Jos Buttler must look to bring in Harry Brook against Australians even if it means dropping one of their senior players. In my view, he should never have been dropped in this competition and should have played all the matches. He was coming into this tournament in amazing form and England should have utilised that.

    Brook was a victim of England getting the balance of the side wrong. I do admire the selectors for trying to be loyal to players who have provided so much success over many years. At the same time, there should still be room for Brook and in this tournament.

    I also would like to see Gus Atkinson get a game on Saturday. He has played just one match in this tournament and finished with an impressive spell. I think he deserves another chance as England look to find solutions to their current problems. Atkinson has pace. The action moves to the largest cricket stadium and Atkinson would love to play a game of this magnitude. If he plays, it will be an experience he will cherish. In my book, he must take the field in Ahmedabad.

    Brydon Carse is also not a bad choice. He has an aggressive pace and can add some runs late into the innings. However, England may not take a chance with two inexperienced cricketers in such a big game. So, it could be a call between him and Atkinson. But it is true that Carse is a player worth investing in looking at the future.

    England players should focus on job at hand

    These are hard times for England’s ODI side. The losses can hurt. There have been talks about the unrest in the group. But it is very important for the squad to focus on their individual jobs right now. Outside, there will be talks about new players, a new era and a new start. But at this moment in time, the focus should be on their cricket, on how they can win these three matches. I feel that some of these players will still be the best option for England going forward. Not to forget, there is a T20 World Cup next year. Hence, the selectors would be torn between change and stability. What the players can do is take these decisions out of the selectors’ hands by performing in the remaining matches.

    It is true that the end of World Cups are often watershed moments, but my hunch is that many of the players will still feel they have an international future. It may also need the selectors to hold their nerve moving forward with a likely clamor for change.

    The challenge of playing Australia can provide an added incentive for England players who are keen to make a statement. England may find it hard to go further into this tournament, but they can still make the job tougher for their oldest rivals to qualify for the semi-finals. Plus, they would not want to be knocked out of the World Cup by Australia. That motivation could bring an improvement in performance.

    There’s some good news for England despite the losses as their ace pacer Chris Woakes has found some form. Woakes will provide valuable experience and skill with the new ball against a side full of runs.

    Australia have received twin blows with Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell out for different reasons. Marsh, especially, has done well against England of late.

    Australia have benefitted immensely with return of David Warner’s form and the return of an excellent batter in form of Travis Head. And what a time for Head to storm back into the sidewhen two of the key players get ruled out. If Marcus Stoinis is fit, it will be a huge boost for Australia who also need Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne to find their best form.

    England’s best chance is to do early damage with the new ball. If England can break through Australia’s top order early, it will be interesting to see how the batting line up copes up. Maxwell is obviously a huge loss as he provides firepower in the middle overs. Stoinis and possibly Cameron Green will need to be at their best. Maxwell’s off spin will be hugely missed too which means the balance of the team goes off. Australia will need to work that out soon.

    Aussies obviously hates losing to England and will see this as a great opportunity to get a win over the defending champions. I think for the first time in a long time, we can call them favourites because of the contrasting forms of the two sides in the tournament. They won’t want to miss out, but it will also add extra pressure to the side missing a couple of key players.

    I am expecting the Australia vs England clash to be a blockbuster of a game. England players and fans are expecting more of themselves and their team while a win for Australia can be a morale boosting moment for them, taking them a step closer to the semi-finals.

    About the Author

    Written by Nick Knight

    Represented England in 100 ODIs and 17 Test matches. Faced fastest ball ever recorded by Shoaib Akhtar of over 100 mph in 2003 World Cup. Worked as a broadcaster for Sky Sports Cricket since 2007 and around the world in various Franchise leagues. Absolutely love cricket..

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