Cricket World Cup: Australia ready to inflict more hurt on England
Rivals go head-to-head in a vital clash at Lord’s on Tuesday
England vs. Australia
- What: match 32 of the ICC Cricket World Cup
- When: Tuesday 25 June
- Where: Lord’s, London
- Start time: 10.30am (BST)
- TV channel: live on Sky Sports
England are wounded and the Australians want to inflict more pain on their old rivals in the Cricket World Cup clash at Lord’s on Tuesday.
Although defeat for the hosts wouldn’t eliminate them from the tournament, it would severely dent their chances of finishing in the top four and making next month’s semi-finals.
It would also be a fourth defeat in a month, a slump that began when they lost to Australia in a World Cup friendly at the end of May.
Meaningless as that match may have been, it nonetheless showed the rest of the world that the favourites weren’t invincible.
Fighting for fourth
Since then England have lost to Pakistan and Sri Lanka, to leave them fourth in the standings, three points behind leaders New Zealand and, more importantly, just two ahead of fifth-placed Sri Lanka.
The worry for England is that the Sri Lankans have the easier run-in, playing struggling South Africa and the West Indies, before ending with India.
After Australia England play India on Saturday 30 June, and then wrap up their campaign against the on-fire Kiwis on Wednesday 3 July. England have beaten none of these teams at a World Cup since 1992.
Poms under pressure
Australia’s bowling coach, Adam Griffith, is already upping the ante by playing mind games with the Poms ahead of the crunch clash at the home of cricket.
“We’ll have a few things up our sleeves from watching them through the tournament,” Griffith told Fox Sports. “We don’t want to make things too complicated. We still want to keep things simple and do what we do really, really well.
“We’ll back our guys. When we’re at our best and we’re swinging the ball early and we’re doing our stuff through the middle and the end we can be a pretty good bowling unit too.”
At the back of English minds is the knowledge that when they lost to Australia last month, the visitors were without the fearsome fast bowler Mitchell Starc, who so far this tournament has taken 15 wickets.
Former England captain Alistair Cook believes Starc will have a major influence on the outcome of Tuesday’s match.
“He bowls 90mph but swings it and is in attack mode right from the off, bowling full and straight,” Cook told Metro. “Six of his 15 dismissals have been bowled.”
Buttler bemoans attitude
England vice-captain Jos Buttler has admitted it was a bad day at the office for him and his team-mates last Friday when they lost against Sri Lanka.
Dismissed for just ten runs, Buttler said: “We played poorly with the bat. I think we lacked energy. That doesn’t mean trying to hit fours and sixes, it means showing intensity and trying to put pressure on the bowlers.”
But it was the wrong attitude more than low energy that accounted for the limp defeat. He added: “We didn’t as a group have the right attitude and intensity… in terms of the mindset we were not at our best.
“I thought we were a bit passive. We haven’t been like that for a long time so that is the most frustrating part of the game.”
Up for it
Buttler knows that anything other than full focus against Australia will result in another defeat, but he was bullish when asked if he fancied downing the boys from Down Under.
“Those games are big ones, and at a fantastic ground at Lord’s,” he said. “This loss [Sri Lanka] will hurt for a few days but we will get ready and excited for the next game.”
Roy ruled out
Opening batsman Jason Roy will not be fit to face the Aussies following the hamstring injury sustained against the West Indies on 14 June.
The BBC reports that James Vince will continue to deputise while Roy hopes to return against India on Sunday.
England coach Trevor Bayliss said of Roy: “We’re not going to risk him, that’s for sure. We’ll play each game as it comes and get the medical people to let us know whether they think he is right for the next game.”
ICC Cricket World Cup fixtures
All matches are live on Sky Sports.
- Monday 24 June: Bangladesh vs. Afghanistan (10.30am)
- Tuesday 25 June: England vs. Australia (10.30am)
- Wednesday 26 June: New Zealand vs. Pakistan (10.30am)
- Thursday 27 June: West Indies vs. India (10.30am)
- Friday 28 June: Sri Lanka vs. South Africa (10.30am)
- Saturday 29 June: Pakistan vs. Afghanistan (10.30am); New Zealand vs. Australia (1.30pm)
- Sunday 30 June: England vs. India (10.30am)
- Monday 1 July: Sri Lanka vs. West Indies (10.30am)
- Tuesday 2 July: Bangladesh vs. India (10.30am)
- Wednesday 3 July: England vs. New Zealand (10.30am)
- Thursday 4 July: Afghanistan vs. West Indies (10.30am)
- Friday 5 July: Pakistan vs. Bangladesh (10.30am)
- Saturday 6 July: Sri Lanka vs. India (10.30am); Australia vs. South Africa (1.30pm)
- Tuesday 9 July: 1st place vs. 4th place (10.30am; Old Trafford, Manchester)
- Thursday 11 July: 2nd place vs. 3rd place (10.30am; Edgbaston, Birmingham)
Cricket World Cup final
- Sunday 14 July: 10.30am at Lord’s, London