England ready for Valentines day date
Four-time champions Australia, playing their first World Cup game at home in 23 years, will be eager to start their campaign in style when they take on England in their opening game on 14th February, 2015. A full house crowd in excess of 90,000 is expected at the MCG.
Australia have won 11 of their last 12 ODIs – including a 4-1 victory over highly-rated South Africa; they have a battling line-up that extends beyond the horizon – their likely No. 10 here, Mitchell Starc, has scored 99 in a Test Match; and a sequence of bowlers that contains, arguably, the three quickest seamers in the tournament in Mitchell Johnson, Pat Cummins and Starc.
England are unburdened by expectation. Having recently changed their captain, not won an ODI series for almost a year and failed to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup since 1992, little is expected of them. Their recent record against Australia in Australia – they have lost 13 of the last 15 ODIs. It would be a surprise if they ruined the Valentines day of 100,000 Australians.
Michael Clarke and James Faulkner are ruled out of this game while Australia are unlikely to include left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty. Pat Cummins and Hazlewood will be fighting for a spot in the eleven with Johnson and Starc as the other frontline pacers. Another option for Australia is to include both at the expense of Mitchell Marsh.
Probable XI: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, George Bailey (capt), Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood/Pat Cummins.
Chris Woakes is likely to be included in the eleven and might open the bowling with James Anderson, while Stuart Broad and Steven Finn will provide the back-up. England are unlikely to include James Tredwell in the line-up unless the nature of the pitch forces them to.
Probable XI: Ian Bell, Moeen Ali, James Taylor, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Steve Finn, James Anderson.