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CWC19: England vs Australia - 3 Things You Need To Know

The pre-tournament favourites versus the tainted arch-enemy on the comeback trail - this match was going to be the veritable clash of the titans. In reality, it was a one-sided dud where after the 10th over, the Antipodeans in canary yellow were the only team that was going to win.

That's not to say that this match was inconsequential. We gleaned 3 very important learnings from this match:

1. England haven't just stolen South Africa's players...

...they've also poached the Saffas' undeniable ability to choke through their inability to play to their collective potential. How else do you explain the Poms' wilting under the burden of being heavy pre-tournament favourites?

Don't be fooled by Eoin Morgan's fine exhibition of calm, under-pressure leadership. He and the English brains-trust will know full well that their tournament hopes are hanging by a thread. Most worryingly, there seems little that they can do to arrest this woeful form slump.

Some might point to the return of Jason Roy as being the answer. I'm not convinced. You see, the problem with England is not their lack of firepower, but their lack of on-the-fly nous when playing against different opposition each game and on different surfaces. Having played tournament cricket in the past, I assure that that is not a muscle that can be built overnight.

The real question is whether England can actually now make the semi-finals, or will the Bangla tigers/Lankans/Pakis steal the 4th semi-final spot from under the Poms' noses?

2. Was I at the opera?

I realised yesterday that I have been spoiled. I've been spoiled by the electric atmosphere at India's matches, irrespective of the opposition, venue or competition. Because at yesterday's match, you could hear a pin drop.

You'd think there would be a certain tension and a requisite amount of needle when arch-enemies step on to the field in a tournament that actually matters. I found neither throughout the day yesterday. Was it the Lords effect where the English stiff-upper-lip is the only acceptable standard? Or was it that the locals shared my sense that their team was never really in the match?

This is not intended to be a diss, but a doffing of the cap to the Bharat Army and all those that bleed blue in stadia the world over who band together to make a day at the cricket entertaining and a pleasure to attend. A pleasure that is only heightened when on-field events are in our favour.

If you can afford me the liberty of saying so: we are incredible!

3. Forget England, Australia are the real world cup favourites

I've said it before and here I even pointed out the weaknesses that Australia needed to correct to become favourites to win this world cup. Unfortunately for all non-Australian fans, I fear that my prediction is coming true.

By introducing Jason Behrendorff into the starting lineup in place of Nathan Coulter-Nile, the Aussie middle overs bowling attack looks immeasurably stronger. This is primarily because Patty Cummins, our new favourite Aussie cricketer, can bowl all his 10 overs during the middle to late innings.

With Warner and Finch having worked out that wickets in hand after 10 overs is really where the game is won, the Aussies are clicking into a world cup gear that few of their rivals possess. The (sometimes annoying) Nasser Hussain put it perfectly in the analysis to last night's game where he said that the Aussies have discovered their world cup-winning formula despite all the on-field and off-filed travails they have been grappling with over the last 18 months.

This should be a scary thought for all Team India fans, only because India (and sometimes on New Zealand) is the only team that actually has a hope of seriously challenging the Aussies.

It's not just me that thinks so, the bookies have made the Aussies equal favourites to win the tournament, which I think is being very gracious to India because of all of India's frailties:

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