Clash of equals as England, Australia face off in World Cup
Mumbai: Defending champions England will face arch-rivals Australia in what promises to be a mouth-watering battle of equals in the Super Six stage of the ICC Women`s cricket World Cup here on Friday.
Super Six is the next stage of the eight-team event, where six teams from the preliminary round -- three each from Group A and Group B -- play a game each against the other group qualifiers to spot the finalists.
Teams will carry the points earned against Super Six qualifiers from the same group into the second stage.
England, who are back to winning ways, would like to keep the momentum going, while Australia would seek to extend the clean sheet they have maintained so far, when the two sides fight tooth and nail at the Brabourne Stadium here.
Three-time champions England defeated West Indies and India comprehensively, after suffering a shock defeat against Sri Lanka in their campaign-opener.
The holders` batting has not fired in unison, which would be an area of concern for them. Skipper Charlotte Edwards notched up a 109 against India, while opener Danielle Wyatt found runs against the West Indies and scored 40.
The side would depend on the duo to provide a good foundation at the start.
On the bowling front, England would rely on the lethal pace attack of Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole to run through their opponents` batting order.
Shrubsole grabbed 4 for 21 after a devastating first spell of three for eight against the West Indies, while Brunt has been the leading wicket-taker so far with eight in three matches, including 4 for 29 against India.
Australia have the upper-hand, having won 41 of their 61 meetings against England.
The five-time champions, who survived a scare against Pakistan, have been undefeated in the group stage and would look to maintain their winning streak.
Opener Meg Lanning smashed her way to a 104-ball 112 against New Zealand and one-down batter Jess Cameron made 82 against the same opponents. The Aussies would expect them to continue the good run against England.
Australia will expect new-ball sharers Megan Schutt and Elysse Perry to provide the initial break through when they take on England.
Schutt has picked up six wickets in the tournament so far, including three for 40 against New Zealand, while Perry has also been contributing with the wickets.
But the experienced Lisa Sthalekar hasn`t performed significantly and she would be expected bring out her best against England.