SuperSport Park, Centurion – Friday, October 2, 2009 (D/N)
Hostilities are resumed between the two old enemies less than two weeks since the end of the marathon 7 match ODI series in England. It’s Australia who will take the upper hand from that series into this game after winning it 6-1.
Australia only just managed to get to the semi-finals with a tight victory over Pakistan on Wednesday, though they will surely be confident against the same England team they seemed to hold the wood over just recently.
From England’s point of view they can take heart from the way Australia struggled and almost – but for the experience of Brett Lee – buckled under the pressure of what was effectively a knockout situation.
Which England team turn up on the day will probably be Andy Flower’s greatest concern. He is most likely of the opinion that on their day England are a match for anyone but knows full well that it depends if the team that played Sri Lanka and South Africa turns up, or the one that played against Australia in the previously mentioned series and then reappeared against New Zealand on Tuesday.
For Australia, Michael Clarke has gone home and David Hussey has just arrived to take his place in the squad. It’s unlikely Hussey will play against England as he has only just arrived in the country, also this will enable the Aussies to stick with the same side and keep the balance with James Hopes at No.7.
For England it is not as straight forward, Stuart Broad is struggling with a slight tear in his buttock and visably looked in pain during practise on Thursday. If he dosen’t make it either Tim Bresnan or Graham Onions should come in for cover, Bresnan may well get the nod as he has the added bonus of being able to bat.
Matt Prior is another one England are not sure about, although he took part in training today Andy Flower said he is nowhere near being ready to play after his virus. Steven Davies is on stand-by and has permission from the ICC to take Prior’s place in the squad. One way or another there is little chance that Eoin Morgan will find himself behind the stumps for this one.
Australia – Shane Watson, Tim Paine (WK), Ricky Ponting (C), Michael Hussey, Callum Ferguson, Cameron White, James Hopes, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle.
England – Andrew Strauss (C), Joe Denly, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (WK), Luke Wright, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Ryan Sidebottom, James Anderson.