About the Match
Two of the pre-tournament favorites as well as traditional rivals, England and Australia meet in this encounter that could well be a precursor to one of the knockout encounters that we are going to see in the latter stages of the tournament. There is no love lost between England and Australia and both teams would be hoping to win this match and set a marker for the future.
England has been nothing short of magnificent after the opening match defeat to India and has demolished everyone that has come up against it. This match against Australia is something that they have been preparing since a long time especially since they lost the World T20 semi-finals to the same opposition.
England has been excellent with the bat led by Heather Knight and Sarah Taylor. Both of them have scored above 250 runs int he tournament at averages above 80.00. Tammy Beaumont and Fran Wilson have also contributed at important junctures with the bat reinforcing the batting depth at their disposal.
Heather Knight and Danielle Hazell have been the standout bowlers for England in the tournament so far although both the bowlers would have wanted to a bit more consistent. Wicket taking has been a bit of a problem for this English side and they will need to be at their best against the Australians otherwise they risk being demolished by one of the strongest batting sides in the world.
Meg Lanning is easily the best player in the world right now and has proven that in this tournament so far by scoring 212 runs at an average of 106.00. There is a lot of controversy about her availability for this match because of a shoulder injury but we expect her to play.
Even in her absence, players like Ellyse Perry and Nicole Bolton are significant challenges for any bowling attack. We think this Australian side is definitely more beatable without a fully fit and maybe even a completely absent Meg Lanning, however, the defending world champions have the depth to overcome the loss of the best player in the world.
Kristen Beams has led the bowling for Australia so far with 7 wickets while Jess Jonassen has followed closely with 6 wickets to her name. Both of them will need to be at their best against an in form English batting attack that has looked a cut above the rest with ease.
Ellyse Perry is also going to be crucial for this Australian side with her more than useful right arm medium fast bowling.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at Bristol is expected to be a little on the slower side but once the batters get their eye in, run scoring should be an absolute breeze. England and South Africa scored a combined 678 runs in the last match between them in this match, an indication of what to expect in the upcoming matches.
The weather is expected to hold up for the majority of the match and not be a major point of discussion.
We think England will win this match irrespective of whether Meg Lanning plays or not.