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Australia bat against England in World Cup semi-final

11 July 2019

Four years of planning will be put on the line for England when they face holders Australia in a blockbuster Cricket World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Although Australia won the first meeting in this tournament, recent history is very much in England's favour including a 5-0 whitewash last summer.

England insist the way they handled Trent Boult against New Zealand last week shows they can avoid another top-order disaster against Australia's left-armers. "We've also seen that you can score quite freely if they don't quite get it right".

The art of captaincy will be a crucial foundation for whatever team lifts the trophy on Sunday, and Finch has respect for the way Morgan has built a team in his image since their disappointment four years ago, when England exited before the quarter-finals.

Australian pacer Mitchell Starc has been in red-hot form.

The entire England squad reported fit for training on Tuesday. "And that's the truth", said Australia coach Justin Langer ahead of the game.

"The game of cricket is fickle in its nature especially when it comes to the white ball and Twenty20 and one-day cricket".

Captain Aaron Finch has a key role to play and not just with the bat where he has scored 507 runs at an average of 56.33.

"And I know there will be some English people who will laugh about that but its actually true".

"If we can combat that and make a good start, we'll give ourselves a better chance of either closing a total down or setting a big one which is hard to chase".

After finishing 2nd on the points table, Australia now take on the hosts England in the 2nd Semifinal at Edgbaston.

It would be easy to suggest Jonny Bairstow after successive centuries but it is his opening partner who has got the best out of the fiery wicketkeeper-batsman.

"We are a different sort of animal compared to our last teams".

Power hitter Jos Buttler was the only player not to fall to the pair, after England fell to 4-53 early and only one of their top four hit double figures.

"Today perhaps some of those small margins went our way and it was great that we could get across the line and beat a very strong side".

The pace attack has provided the X-factor to both teams, adding to excitement of the contest.

Australia beat England by 64 runs in the group stage of the competition, with England making just 221 runs.

All-rounder Marcus Stoinis has recovered from a side strain he sustained against South Africa.

England captain Eoin Morgan said he would have made the same decision.

Australia bat against England in World Cup semi-final