England who recently loss the home series against Australia by 1-6 will be once again came together to play the knockout game of the ICC Champions Trophy semi final. But stories are totally changed for England since their arrival in South Africa.
They have beaten some of the top favorites of the tournament resulting in an early exit for them. First they have beaten mighty looking Sri Lankan’s at bouncy wickets at Johannesburg then they have beaten the host to knock them out of the competition. In the last game they have lost to New Zealand they have shown fight till the end which is more encouraging for Englishmen.
Australia on the other hand needs to tighten their middle order batting lineup against formidable English attack. Chasing 206 to win they have slipped from 140/2 to 187/8 but thanks to Brett Lee and N.Haurtiz who helped them to register a much needed win on the last ball of the match.
On paper, Australia does not seem to have any chink but Tuesday's match showed their vulnerability to quality bowling especially at the end overs. Their openers also not fired together. Tim Paine played really well for them but main worry of concern is Shane Watson who has struggled to score runs for his side. The absence of M.Clark from the middle order makes Australians middle order little vulnerable.
Australians the Champiosn Trophy 2008 winners needs to go just two steps further to lift the cup but it will be interesting to see how each players play in pressure situation games.
On the other hand it is good chance for England to take the revenge for the loss of home ODI series against Australians.
Watch out for
M.Joohnson: A man flying high on confidence after receiving a Cricketer of the Year award his moral is sky high. In the game against Pakistan he bowled really well and his captain needs a similar performance with ball to help Australia to get inch closer to ICC Champions Trophy 2009.
Paul Collingwood: This man is in prime form since arriving to South Africa. In all the group games he scored consistently for his team and it will be no better than if he scored a century here at Centurion to help England to make up for the 6-1 loss to Australia in a home ODI series.
Pitch & Condition
Pitch at Centurion is getting slower and slower game by game. So team winning the toss would love to bat first and put decent score around 250 on the board to pressurize the team batting second. Rain is expected to play his part in the 1st semi final at Cneturion.
Australia is likely to go into the game with Same XI as played against Pakistan.
Matt Prior after recovering from viral fever is likely to be back in the squad in place of Ravi Boapara.
Likely Playing XI for both Teams (Match is Schedule to begin at 18:00 PM India Time)
Australia Squad: Shane Watson, Tim Paine (WK), Ricky Ponting (Captain), Michael Hussey, Callum Ferguson, Cameron White, James Hopes, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle.
England Squad: Andrew Strauss (Captain), Joe Denly, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (WK), Luke Wright, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Ryan Sidebottom, James Anderson.