Tournament host England take on the two-time winners Australia in the Group A opener of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy 2013 at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Saturday.
England and Australia will keep in mind the upcoming Ashes when they take each other in the Group A opener, as a win boost their confidence level.
England come into the contest at the back of a 1-2 series loss to lower ranked New Zealand. However, their performance at home since 2010 is impressive, winning 23 and losing 11 of the 37 matches played. They will miss Kevin Pietersen, who is nursing a knee injury.
The present Australia squad is a vulnerable one. They defeated West Indies by four wickets in the first warm-up game leading up to the tournament but suffered a 243 run defeat to India in the second warm-up match. They need to work on consistency in order to stay in the competition.
Australia have 6-5 win-loss record against England in ODI played in the last two years. Australia clinched a series 6-1 at home in 2011 but England bounced back in the next year by winning the NatWest Series 4-0.
England: Skipper Alastair Cook's form is a matter of concern for the host. He should perform and boost the confidence of the team. Batsmen like Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan will be expected to perform and put up a big total on the board.
On the bowling front, they have James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell and Tim Bresnan.
Australia: Skipper Michael Clarke has been ruled out of the opener due to a back injury and it will give a big blow to the team. Shane Watson scored 135 runs and Adam Voges scored 43 in the first warm-up match, helping them beat West Indies. However, their batting line-up collapsed for a paltry 65 runs against India, exposing their vulnerability with the bat. George Bailey, David Warner, Phil Hughes and others will be expected to perform on Saturday.
In the bowling department, they have Mitchell Johnson, James Faulkner, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc, Shane Watson and others who can rip through the batting line-up of the opponents.
England have the home ground advantage but Australia seem to be a more balanced team. Aussies are the favouties to win on Saturday.
England: Alastair Cook (Captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott, Chris Woakes
Australia: Michael Clarke (Captain), George Bailey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Clint McKay, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson
Where to Watch Live
The match will kick off at 3:00 PM IST on Saturday and it will be telecast live on Star Cricket channel. It will also be live streamed online on Star Sports official website.