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    Written by Danny Morrison
    Dawid Malan and Joe Root

    ENG Vs AUS World Cup Preview: Injury-Hit Australia Still Favourites Against England Who Still Have Lots At Stake

    November 3, 2023

    Right then, we have England taking on Australia in this big clash of Cricket World Cup 2023. They are the oldest rivals in this beautiful sport, and one cannot wait for them to take each other on. Both these sides started off the same way in the tournament, that is with losses. But Aussies have found their way after two blips at the start. England, the reigning champions, never got going except that Bangladesh game maybe in Dharamsala. They are not just the ODI champions but also won the T20 World Cup last year. But here in India, their World Cup campaign has only taken one wrong turn after another. It has gone off in a bizarre fashion. This is something for which no one has a clear answer.

    The cricket pundits, the experts of the game including me have been flabbergasted by this poor showing of such a strong England outfit who are known for playing aggressive cricket. They have not shown up at all and are placed at the bottom of the table. And right when England’s chances of making it to the semis became slimmer post the loss to India, the International Cricket Council (ICC) broad-sided England set-up with Champions Trophy qualification rule. The world body made it clear that the top 8 finishers at the end of the league stage of this World Cup qualify for the Champions Trophy 2025. The hosts Pakistan are an automatic qualification plus the 7 top teams in the league stage. That means England, currently languishing at the bottom of the table, are not just fearing a terrible World Cup campaign where they fail to defend the title but also not qualifying for the next Champions Trophy.

    England have three games remaining and in this extraordinary scenario, they must win all three to ensure they are at least going to the Champions Trophy, if not the semis of the World Cup 2023. If anything, that should give England some motivation to at least qualify for the mega event in Pakistan. They have Australia, Netherlands and then Pakistan coming up next and all these games are not going to be easy.

    I say this with a smirk on my face that over the years, beating England, the inventors of the sport, is special to every other side. They invented the game. This game was born there, the laws come from there. It is quite fascinating to see England unable to find themselves in this tournament. Their collective failure is shocking to say the least. But the time has come for England to show the world they are a great ODI side, not just on paper but on the field as well.

    Australians started to peak just at the right time. But they have a worry or maybe worries. Glenn Maxwell has hurt himself after falling off the golf cart. He is out due to concussion for at least the England match. Last year he had broken his leg while partying in Australia and was out of the game. These kinds of freak accidents have been harsh on Maxwell. If that was not enough, Australia got another blow in form of Mitchell Marsh, who has flown back home due to personal reasons. While his personal space should be respect, his absence does shake Australia’s balance and break the winning combination further.

    Glenn Maxwell
    However, I still feel Australians are favourites vs this short-on-confidence England side. Australians will be without two of their top white-ball cricketers in Maxwell and Marsh but they have form and winning momentum with them.

    If England are to win, the likes of Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Dawid Malan need to get their act together and score some runs. Jonny Bairstow needs to find his magic and give England the fiery start he is expected to provide. We all know what he is capable of. Honestly, I cannot comprehend how the England batters are failing in the Indian conditions as most of them in the squad have played ample number of matches here in the Indian Premier League. Ben Stokes, Buttler, Livingstone, Bairstow, Root, all of them have played in India enough to know the conditions.

    There’s a lot riding on England in this match. They are still not out of the World Cup mathematically and must play to qualify for the CT 2025. But more importantly, they must win to restore their pride to some extent. The Australians would want to keep winning, stay in a positive mindset and make the semis. It is Super Saturday and I expect this to be an exciting contest.

    About the Author

    Written by Danny Morrison

    Danny Morrison is a former New Zealand cricket, commentator and cricket expert. He made his test debut for New Zealand in 1987 at the age of 21 against Australia. He is one of only three New Zealanders and twenty-two players worldwide to have taken an ODI hat-trick. Follow Danny Morrison onTwitter and Instagram.

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