By Sam Norris
Last Updated: 10th July 2019
Bitter rivals Australia stand in the way of England reaching the final match of the Cricket World Cup for the first time since 1992 and though Australia beat England in the group stages at Lord’s, Eoin Morgan’s side can take solace from their historically superb record in the second city.
Their most recent memory of Edgbaston will be a happy one as they beat tournament favourites India here in arguably England’s best performance of the tournament so far and there isn’t much in the way of unhappy memories here for England.
Since 2014 they’ve only lost one ODI here, they haven’t lost a test match here since 2008 and have never lost a T20 match at the Birmingham venue. To say this place is a happy hunting ground for England is an understatement and they should be confident against any opposition on this pitch.
Win the toss, elect to bat
Ahead of this highly-anticipated semi-final the England vs Australia match betting isn’t too far away from a coin toss, with the hosts the slight favourites at 8/11 and Australia a shade of odds against at 11/10, but it’s the toss out there on the pitch which could prove a potentially decisive factor in this one.
Between the two sides they’ve lost five matches so far at this year’s tournament and interestingly all five defeats have come when Australia or England have been asked to bat second and chase a total. With this in mind both captains should be itching to have a bat and try to set the tone should they win the toss.
Roy the boy for an Ashes spot?
Australia’s opening partnership of David Warner and Aaron Finch has been the clear best such duo on the numbers all tournament, with the former positioned 5/4 to be the tournament top batsman behind favourite Rohit Sharma.
However England may have fared equally well in that department if they’d had Jason Roy to call upon all tournament long. Despite missing three matches with a torn hamstring, he has a rather healthy haul of runs and odds of 11/4 for him to be England’s leading batsman against the Aussies will tempt plenty.
Roy wasn’t present for two of England’s three defeats this tournament and that doesn’t look like it’s a coincidence. He’s returned with very solid knocks of 66 against India and 60 against New Zealand and that should have him cherry ripe for a tilt at the Aussies.
From a personal point of view, he must feel a spot in the Ashes team is close. He’s been described as a ‘definite option’ by coach Trevor Bayliss and could cement a place in the squad with a big knock here.
Everyone is well aware how deep England bat and whilst the opening partnership for both sides is crucial, England’s much vaunted batting line up has to give them another way to win too, should they need it.
The question as to whether or not this England side has a championship mentality will continue to be asked and it remains to be seen if they can go all the way and lift the silverware at the end of this, but a combination of the resurgent Roy, a deep batting line up which is the envy of most other teams and the fact that Edgbaston has become a bit of a fortress for English cricket, should get them over the line in this one at least.