Reigning ODI Champion England meets 5th ranked Australia today as the Australia’s mission for the World Cup Super League gets underway at Old Trafford Manchester. Australia just managed keeping it T20 top ranking intact winning the last match in their 1-2 series loss the other day. England is continuously playing international cricket in bio secure home condition over the past two months during the COVID pandemic, while Australia looked a little bit rusty in the T20 series. However, nothing grows big when the traditional rivals meet anywhere of the world in any format. England is the form side at the moment with several players at the peak form of their life. Australia is fine tuning its team with an eye to the distant 2023 world cup in India.
England won the world cup in 2019 for the first time in a breath taking final at Lords against New Zealand. Australia was blown away by England in the semifinals by England. They off course beat England in the first round. The feature of the present contest is that England at this moment has so many quality players at their disposal that they can even form two teams of almost equal strength. The absence of their star all-rounder Ben Stokes has been hardly felt. England team for the first ODI will be boosted by the return of Jason Roy and quality top order batsman Joe Root. Australia does not have too many options. Only Marnus Labuschagne would feature in the top order. Otherwise it will be the same team that played in the last T20 match.
Jason Roy missed the T20 series through injury, Root was rested. England will continue missing Ben Stokes. The English probable will have seven players that won them the world cup. Sam Billings will in all possibility included in the team for his performances in the three ODIs against Ireland. England may play both Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid sensing the vulnerability of Australia against spin. Australian batsmen have shown genuine weakness against Adil Rashid already in T20 matches.
England (probable): Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer
The main strength of Australia is the top order more specifically top three. We are not sure how Labuschagne would shrug off rust after long layoff. Mitch Marsh looked good in the final T20. But witnessing middle order collapse more than once is a bit of bother. However, bowling will have all ends covered, four pacers and two spinners would together create issues for English batsmen. Fielding so far has been excellent.
Australia (probable): David Warner, Aaron Finch (capt), Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Neither team can afford to relax, as every win will accrue valuable points towards the World Cup Super League. Australia has to build the nucleus of its team for 2023 World Cup recovery mission. England has to retain its winning momentum.
BDST: 1210 HRS, SEP 11, 2020