England's World Cup campaign is on the brink, with their defending champions struggling to make it to the semi-finals. Memories of their acrimonious Ashes series against Australia still linger.
Jos Buttler's team, the defending champions, find themselves at the bottom of the 10-nation group, with just one win in six games. They face an uphill battle to qualify for the semi-finals. In contrast, Australia enters the game at the world's largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad with four consecutive wins. However, Australia will be missing two key players, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh.
England's recent defeat was a 100-run loss to the unbeaten India in Lucknow. Questions about their batting lineup and reports of dressing room unrest have put pressure on coach Matthew Mott.
Dawid Malan, England's opening batsman, dismissed reports of Mott losing the players' confidence, emphasising that players need to take responsibility on the field. Despite being provided with all the necessary resources, England is struggling to gain momentum and rhythm.
England's sole victory so far came against Bangladesh, while they suffered losses to Afghanistan and posted low totals of 156 (against Sri Lanka) and 129 (against India) in their last two games.
A loss to Australia would not only eliminate them from contention for a semi-final spot but also jeopardise their chances of participating in the 2025 Champions Trophy, as they need to finish in the top seven places to qualify.
The intense rivalry between England and Australia extends to the 50-over format, with Australia holding a historical advantage. However, in the 2019 World Cup semi-finals, England emerged victorious and went on to win their maiden World Cup.
Australia has rebounded in this World Cup after two initial losses and is coming off a record 309-run victory over the Netherlands. They will miss Maxwell due to injury and Marsh for personal reasons, paving the way for Marcus Stoinis and Cameron Green to enter the lineup.
Despite their struggles, England is still considered a dangerous team, and Australia, led by Pat Cummins, remains well-placed in third place as they aim to secure a spot in the semi-finals with four wins under their belt.