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CWC Semi-Final 2019: Australia to Face England

Australia face England in the second semi-final of the 2019 World Cup, having already got the better of England in their previous encounter.

Australia come into the semi-finals not in the best of states. They lost their final match against South Africa, which means they will not be a hundred percent confident coming into tomorrow’s match.

What’s worse is that they have lost two players to injury. Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja have both been ruled out of the tournament and have been replaced by Matthew Wade and Peter Handscomb.

This is not the most ideal situation for Justin Langer and his men, who would have liked to maintain their winning combination.

They have now been forced to change their line-up, which could alter the dynamic of the game.

In this game, we will analyse Australia’s chances with a changed squad and a renewed batting line-up.

The Opening Pair
The top order of Aaron Finch and David Warner have been in sublime form, with their recent dun with the bat the reason why Australia have come so far and scored big runs.

David-Warner-and-Aaron-Finch

Both the openers have scored 150+ runs in a single game.

Warner has scored over 600 runs and sits only behind Rohit Sharma in the highest run scorer list in this tournament.

After choosing not to participate in the recent edition of the IPL, Finch has instead worked on his batting technique and it has reaped rewards for the aggressive opener, as he has scored over 500 runs in this World Cup alone, continuing where he left off in the series against Pakistan.

These two have considerable experience batting together and were part of their 2015 World Cup winning opening duo. Warner has been in exemplary form.

The bad news for the other teams is that Warner is not even close to his explosive best. If that happens, teams are in for a surprise, as we all are aware of Warner’s hitting prowess.

Finch has had a magnificent 2019 himself and has also really evolved as a captain. Michael Vaughan has added that according to him, Finch is the best captain of the World Cup, owing largely to his understanding of the game, and his stoic mindset which is reminiscent of MS Dhoni’s 2011 World Cup triumph.

The Middle Order
The middle order is the Achilles heel of the Australian side, with injuries making the situation more worrisome than ever. Oratntly

Steve Smith will probably now bat at number three after the injury to Usman Khawaja.

This might prove to be a blessing in disguise as Steve Smith is more comfortable in the number three position and has often played out of position in this World Cup so far.

His form with the bat has not been great in the last three games, but there is no doubting his class, One need not go much farther than the 2015 World Cup semi-final against India where he scored a hundred.

Smith is a big match player, and the semi-final is as big a match as it gets. If Warner and Finch get going, Smith is the perfect player to come in next and solidify the innings.

MOHALI, INDIA – MARCH 10: Peter Handscomb of Australia celebrates scoring his century during game four of the One Day International series between India and Australia at Punjab Cricket Association Stadium on March 10, 2019 in Mohali, India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Smith is a big match player, and the semi-final is as big a match as it gets. If Warner and Finch get going, Smith is the perfect player to come in next and solidify the innings.

Coach Justin Langer has confirmed that Peter Handscomb will play his first ever World Cup game tomorrow.

He was part of the Australian A squad who travelled to England and has scored 197 runs at a healthy average. More importantly, he played a crucial part in ensuring that Australia came back to win the series against India and whitewash Pakistan.

Langer acknowledged that Handscomb was brutally unlucky to miss out, but here is the chance. He is the perfect number four Australia need.

He is a good player of spin, and can rotate the strike. He, along with Smith, provides much needed stability to the Australian middle order, and his inclusion will certainly be useful if Australia end up chasing against England.

Alex Carey has been the revelation of the tournament so far. He has been extremely effective lower down the order and almost put his team over the line against South Africa.

alex carey cricket world cup 2019

Some have suggested that he bat higher up in the order, due to his finesse and class, and the fact that he seems so clam under pressure.

With Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis supporting him, Australia have a solid back end batting attack which can lift Australia from a sub-par 270 score to a competitive 340 odd score.

The Bowling Attack
The bowling is undoubtedly the strength of this Aussie team led by the fearful duo Mitchell Starc and Jason Benrendorff with the new ball.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins Cricket World Cup 2019

Both are extremely potent with not only the new ball but also with their unique knack to take wickets both during the middle overs as well as at the death.

Starc has already taken a whopping 26 wickets this World Cup, and in Behnrendorff, he has found a partner in crime.

In the previous game against England, Benhrendorff claimed five wickets as he ran through the England batting unit, Cummins has been a revelation this past year, having won the Allan Border Medal for Australian Player of the Year, and he seems to be getting better and better.

The good news for Australia is that both Cummins and Starc are among the wickets in this World Cup. Starc himself was the leading wicket taker in the 2015 WC and will be looking to maintain his record.

The remaining two bowling slots are shared between leg spinner Nathan Lyon and medium pacer Marcus Stoinis.

Lyon has been a welcome addition to the side, bringing his wealth of experience and class to the side. He bowls a miserly line and picks up wickets at the right intervals.

Stoinis and Maxwell have the duty to complete the remaining ten overs between them.

One cannot certainly write Australia off, as they are after all five time winners and the reigning champions. Our prediction is that Australia will win this match.

So who is gonna win this match? Let us know your predictions.

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Australia – Key Players To Watch Out for This Semi-Final

Now that we have narrowed down to 4 teams, you definitely don’t wanna miss out on the crucial players who might give your cricket fantasy teams a valuable boost.

This is the first in a series of 4 articles where we analyze who could be the potential performers for your fantasy teams in todays Australia Cricket World Cup Team.

Mitchell Starc
You have to be living under a rock if you don’t have Starc in your team.

HOBART, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 11: Mitchell Starc of Australia bowls during game three of the One Day International series between Australia and South Africa at Blundstone Arena on November 11, 2018 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

He has taken 26 wickets in 9 matches, comfortably the most in the competition at an average of 16.61; his prowess with his yorkers is exemplary.

Moreover, if conditions favour him, he can also strike in the early overs. Leave him out at your own risk.

David Warner
David Warner is hitting deadly form at the right time. One of the major gains for Australia from their game against South Africa was how positive Warner looked throughout, in contrast to the beginning to the tournament where he was still getting runs but not looking comfortable at the crease.

david warner cricket australia world cup 2019
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He has amassed 638 runs so far in the competition, the second most.

It appears his rhythm is back, and his headspace is very positive; expect HUGE runs.

Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch is not that behind his batting companion. He has scored 507 runs in the competition and looks set for more.

Aaron-Finch-Australia-Cricket-World-Cup-2019
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Before the tournament, India worked him out and caught him in front of the stumps on a number of occasions.

He has worked through this brilliantly and ensured that he remains mostly side on. This has ensured that he has been dismissed in the first 10 overs only 3 times the whole tournament, once getting out to a spinner.

What increases his attractiveness is that Australia’s semi-final is at Birmingham, where the pitch is expected to favour the batters.

Also, Finch’s record against England in ODIs is exceptional; he averages 52.2 in 26 matches against them. He proved so in the league match earlier, where he scored a century and bagged the man of the match award. On Thursday, if he gets through the initial stages, he could wreak havoc.

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon’s selection in the list is also inspired by the venue of the match.

nathan lyon cricket world cup 2019

Lyon has played only thrice, but has already convinced the selectors that he is a better option than Zampa for the lone spinner spot. While he has only 3 wickets so far, his economy has been 4.55, which is exceptional.

What works for him is the bounce he generates, which is difficult to hit at times. Therefore, when the England batsmen attack him, they will present opportunities.

You NEED to pick differential players when everyone has the main men on their teams, and Lyon presents one such opportunity.

Alex Carey
Alex Carey has arguably been the best wicketkeeper batsman of the tournament so far.

alex carey cricket world cup 2019

Granted, his wicketkeeping can perhaps improve, but he has simply been exceptional with the bat.

He has scored 329 runs so far, at an average of 65.8 and a brilliant strike rate of 113.45; he has stood up at the biggest stage for Australia. Another thing worth consideration is the injury plague within the Australia camp right now.

Shaun Marsh has been ruled out and Khawaja is on the brink of being so. There are question marks on the fitness of Stoinis and Maxwell. All these factors might lead Australia to consider promoting Carey up the order; perhaps even to 5.

If that happens, you definitely don’t wanna miss out.

So whom you going to have as Captain or Vice captain in your Cricket Fantasy Team? Let us know your predictions.

New Zealand – Key Players To Watch Out for This Semi-Final

Now that we have narrowed down to 4 teams, you definitely don’t wanna miss out on the crucial players who might give your fantasy teams a valuable boost.

New-Zealand-Squad-Cricket-World-Cup-2019-Team

This is the first in a series of 4 articles where I analyze who could be the potential performers for your fantasy teams.

Kane Williamson
‘Captain Kane’ and ‘Mr. Steady the Ship’ are some of the many terms used to describe Kane Williamson’s batting. He has scored 481 runs in 7 innings this Cricket World Cup 2019, involving 2 centuries.

kane williamson cricket world cup new zealand 2019

Even more striking is how heavily New Zealand have relied on Williamson to score runs. He has scored 30.23% of his team’s total runs, comfortably the most in the competition.

With other batsmen not being able to contribute much, expect him to ‘steady the ship’ again.

Trent Boult
Indian batsmen’s weakness against left arm fast bowling is heavily documented, and they have suffered against Boult before.

Boult has 15 wickets from 8 matches this tournament which suggests his form has been very reliable.

He is arguably the best New Zealand bowler, and will be in action in the beginning and at the death. That bring wickets, and fantasy points.

Lockie Ferguson
If Boult handles the beginning and the death, Ferguson is in command of the middle overs.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 29: Lockie Ferguson of New Zealand bowls during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and Australia at Lords on June 29, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

He throws intense, flaming, combustible and glowing balls of pure passion.

Unlike other teams, which rely on spinners to fetch them wickets, New Zealand prefer to blast other oppositions with Ferguson’s fiery pace.

He is one of the fastest bowlers in the tournament with almost 1/4th of his balls over 145 kmph.

He has 17 wickets in 7 matches so far and looks set for more. Ferguson has taken 26.15% of all wickets which New Zealand, and therefore he will be integral to New Zealand’s cause.

Jimmy Neesham
He has shown the value that a proper allrounder brings to a team.

MOUNT MAUNGANUI, NEW ZEALAND – JANUARY 03: Jimmy Neesham of the New Zealand Blackcaps leaves the field at the end of the innings during the One Day International match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Bay Oval on January 03, 2019 in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

In this tournament, he has taken 11 wickets in 7 innings and scored 201 runs at an average of 40.2; both figures are the third highest from New Zealand.

Simply put, he has been essential to New Zealand’s qualification to the semi-finals. What has also caught the eye is his improved strokeplay to spin.

He has upgraded his ability to maneuver the strike against spin which has resulted in him getting dismissed to spin only twice.

This would be very important against the Indian spinners, as both Indian wristspinners have managed to dominate the New Zealand batting lineup before.

Mitchell Santner
Much like Lyon, Santner has the special ability to generate extra bounce because of the extreme effort he puts in his run up.

This means that even if he cannot extract much spin, he can outclass the batsment through variable bounce.

Even the pitches have been deteriorating quite significantly, which means that Santner would play a significant role going forward.

Bangladesh – A Underdog Walkover Team in Cricket World Cup 2019

Bangladesh have indeed come far beyond the “underdog walkover team” that everyone thought to be.

Bangladesh Cricket World Cup Team 2019

Their rise in the international cricket scene has been slow but steady. It has been incremental and is now on show for all to see.

Qualification into the top four is still hard for Bangladesh, but if Bangladesh win their remaining games, along with other fixtures going their way, Bangladesh can do the unthinkable and reach the final four of the Cricket World Cup for the first time in their history.

And it will not be one based on pure luck. They will have deserved it thoroughly and will be a testament to their progress, with emphasis on fitness and fielding efforts.

Their first match against South Africa was an indicator as to what one could expect from Bangladesh. Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim played a brilliant knock as they put more misery on the Proteas.

Their recent win against West Indies also showed that they are more than capable of chasing down big totals. Gone are the days when Bangladesh would be daunted by big totals and be knocked down for a paltry score.

In this article we shall analyse the Bangladesh Cricket team and how the team has become a force to be reckoned with in this Cricket World Cup 2019.

BATTING STRENGTH
One of the primary strengths of Bangladesh has been the wealth of experience available at their disposal.

Tamim Iqbal, Shakib-Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmadullah Riyad, and captain Mashrafe Mortaza form the core of the team who carry the bulk of the responsibility both on and off the pitch.

OPENING PAIR
Openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar form a good opening partnership and on their day can be absolutely devastating.

Tamim Iqbal Soumya Sarkar Bangladesh Cricket World Cup 2019
Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar
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Tamim is the leading run scorer in the country’s history and will shoulder a significant responsibility of scoring runs at the top of the order. So far, he has blown hot and cold, with only one fifty plus score.

However, one cannot keep a player of his calibre quiet for long. Sooner or later, he will be amongst the runs, and Bangladesh can only hope that he finds his form in the remaining games left, so that his team have a chance of qualifying for the final four.

MIDDLE ORDER
The man at number three, Shakib Al Hasan is the man of the moment so far.

Shakib Al Hasan Bangladesh Cricket World Cup 2019
Shakib Al Hasan
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Having been promoted up the order, he is now the lynchpin of the Bangladesh team and is scoring runs for fun at the moment.

He has already scored two hundreds in this game, and will only be hungrier to help his team over the finishing line.

With experience and form backing him, Shakib is an asset to the team with his all-round abilities and he will certainly have to be at his best if Bangladesh are to reach the semi-finals.

Shakib’s middle order partner in crime, Mushfiqur Rahim is another mainstay in the Bangladesh team who seems to be around for eternity.

In the first game against South Africa, it was Mushfiqur’s and Shakib’s 150+ stand that allowed Bangladesh to post a mammoth total on the board, their highest in the Cricket World Cup.

Mushfiqur Rahim Cricket World Cup 2019 Bangladesh Team
Mushfiqur Rahim

Even in the last match against Australia, Mushfiqur’s brilliant hundred almost saw them take the lead against Australia.

Another batsman who almost steered Bangladesh over the line against Australia is wily all-rounder, Mahmadullah Riyad.

A highly effective batsman lower down the order, he was responsible for inflicting pain on the South Africans in their first game when he catapulted Bangladesh to score 54 runs in three overs.

He has the knack of both stabilizing the innings when wickets have fallen quickly, while also possessing the ability to score big runs in the dying overs of the innings. These qualities make him invaluable to the Bangladesh team.

BOWLING ATTACK
The bowling department is led by captain Mashrafe Mortaza, who has now played in a remarkable five World Cups.

 Mashrafe Mortaza Bangladesh Cricket World Cup Team 2019
Mashrafe Mortaza
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Although he isn’t as effective as he was back in his youthful days, he nevertheless still possesses a plethora of experience and game intelligence which has been very impressive so far.

The fast bowlers duo of Mustafizur Rehman and Mohammad Saifuddin are the two bowlers who are entrusted with new ball duties.

Mustafizur Rahman Mohammad Saifuddin Cricket World Cup Bangladesh 2019
Mustafizur Rahman & Mohammad Saifuddin
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Mustafizur has been plying his trade around the world playing T20 cricket and has the experience of playing alongside the best players in the world. His experience will therefore be extremely vital, as will Mohammad Saifuddin’s.

The latter is able with both bat and ball in hand and he is the perfect foil for Mistafizur. Saifuddin mostly tries to economical and stifle batsmen for runs while Mustafizur tries to get capitalize and take wickets off of them. The duo works in tandem and has been fairly successful in this World Cup.

The lone spinner is Mehidy Hasan Miraj who is a decent off spinner but bowls a very good line and length which makes him harder to cut or hit over the top.

He is more of a damage mitigation bowler rather than an out and out wicket taker. Nevertheless, if Mehidy does his job well, it takes the pressure off the captain as well as the other bowlers.

mahmudullah_cricket_world_cup_2019
Mahmudullah Riyad
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Handy with both bat and ball, he partnered Mahmudullah against South Africa to score a massive 54 runs in just 18 balls. He will be a player to look out for.

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Do Defending Champions Retain the World Cup

Australia come into this World Cup as the defending champions and certainly not one of the favorites to lift the trophy.

Australia Cricket World Cup Team 2019
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To take the crucial step into the top four, Australia will have to defeat bitter foes and tournament favorite, England.

In this article, we will analyze the Australian team and their chances of winning against England, and taking a crucial step towards finishing in the final four.

THE OPENERS
The top order of Aaron Finch and David Warner have been in sublime form, with both having scored 150+ runs in a single game.

 Aaron Finch and David Warner
Aaron Finch and David Warner
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They are both In the top ten of the highest run getters in the tournament with David Warner at the top of the summit. These two have considerable experience batting together and were part of their 2015 World Cup winning opening duo. Warner has been in exemplary form.

The bad news for the other teams is that Warner is not even close to his explosive best. If that happens, teams are in for a surprise, as we all are aware of Warner’s hitting prowess.

Finch has had a magnificent 2019 himself and has also really evolved as a captain. Michael Vaughan has added that according to him, Finch is the best captain of the World Cup, owing largely to his understanding of the game, and his stoic mindset which is reminiscent of MS Dhoni’s 2011 World Cup triumph.

MIDDLE ORDER
The middle order of Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell are the key players who will have the responsibility of scoring the bulk of the runs.

Steve Smith & Glenn Maxwell
Steve Smith & Glenn Maxwell
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Usman Khawaja was the highest run getter in 2019 prior to this World Cup, having been awarded the man of The Series in the bilateral games against India.

He was struggling for form, but he seemed to have found it in his last game against Bangladesh, where he scored 80 odd runs and was instrumental in ensuring that Australia posted a massive total on the board.

Steve Smith needs no introduction. He is to Australia what Virat Kohli is to India. He is the anchor, the lynch pin around which the team revolves.

He is the player responsible for rotating the strike and keep the runs flowing. He was also part of the 2015 World Cup wining side, where he played a similar role, although he had Michael Clarke supporting and mentoring him.

This time, he has to be the torch bearer himself and has to lead by example. He has a good start to this tournament and one gets the feeling that some big runs are around the corner for Steve Smith.

The two all-rounders in this side, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis are entrusted with bowling the last slot of 10 overs between them.

Maxwell is obviously well known all around the world for his explosive displays with the bat. With a solid foundation set by the middle order, Maxwell can really push into fourth gear and propel the side to a massive score like he has done on so many occasions before.

Marcus Stoinis Australia Cricket World Cup 2019
Marcus Stoinis
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He will be supported in this role by Marcus Stoinis as well as by wicket keeper Alex Carey. Another player who was part of the 2015 World Cup side, Maxwell is one of the more experienced players and he will have a crucial role to play if the Aussies are to lift the trophy at the home of their bitter rivals.

THE BOWLING ATTACK
The bowling is undoubtedly the strength of this Aussie team led by the fearful duo Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.

Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins Cricket World Cup 2019
Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins
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Both are extremely potent with not only the new ball but also with their unique knack to take wickets both during the middle overs as well as at the death.

Cummins has been a revelation this past year, having won the Allan Border Medal for Australian Player of the Year, and he seems to be getting better and better.

The good news for Australia is that both Cummins and Starc are among the wickets in this World Cup and are in the top ten of most wickets column.

Starc himself was the leading wicket taker in the 2015 WC and will be looking to maintain his record.

leg spinner Adam Zampa cricket world cup 2019
Adam Zampa
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The remaining two bowling slots are shared between leg spinner Adam Zampa and paceman Nathan Coulter Nile. Coulter Nile has shown himself to be an asset to this side with his match wining 92 with the bat against West Indies.

Zampa has the ability to take wickets in the middle overs, though he does have a tendency to leak runs. Despite that, he seems to be having the confidence of Finch and Maxwell and he will be hoping to justify the confidence of the selectors.

One cannot certainly write Australia off, as they are after all five time winners and the reigning champions. They will certainly need to play at their best if they are to win this trophy at the home of cricket.

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