About the Match
Although both teams went into his competition among the early favourites to win it, even at this stage of the tournament it has become a must win game for both sides.
Although Australia went into the tournament as favourites to defend the trophy they won last November in Dubai, they did not make the best of starts, losing by 89 runs to New Zealand in Sydney.
That loss was damaging not only because they failed to gain any points but also because it left them with a large negative Net Run Rate (NRR), which could yet prove decisive when it comes to determining the order of teams at the end of the Super 12 stage.
It was, therefore, imperative that they beat Sri Lanka in their second match in Perth, which they duly did by 7 wickets.
It was the home side that won the toss and chose to field first, restricting their opponents to 157/6 from their 20 overs.
Australia chased that down with 9 balls to spare, thanks in large part to an unbeaten fourth wicket stand of 69, between Aaron Finch and Marcus Stoinis, who made 59 of them off just 18 balls, including 6 sixes and 4 fours.
The seven wicket win not only lifted them off the foot of the table, but also helped improve their NRR situation.
England suffered a major reverse on Wednesday when they were shocked by Ireland in their group match.
Whilst they might argue that they were unlucky in that they might have won had not rain intervened, in reality they only have themselves to blame, after another poor batting display.
Earlier their bowlers had seemed to wrest back control of a match that was slipping away from them, reducing Ireland from 103/1 t 157 all out.
But with early wickets falling, their batting was tentative at best, and, when the rain fell they were still five runs behind the required rate.
That win against the Sri Lankans notwithstanding, Australian form has been patchy of late with series defeats against India and England sandwiching two wins against the West Indies, The fact that the West Indies have already been eliminated from the tournament puts those victories into context.
The team, to date, has been less rather than more a sum of its parts.
Whilst England appeared to be in good form on the eve of the competition win series wins against both Pakistan and Australia under their belt, there were warning signs of what was to come in their first group game against Afghanistan.
Again their bowlers had done a good job of restricting the opposition scoring, their batters made heavy weather of chasing down a modest target and they only won by five wickets in the end.
Now their failings with bat, and, to a less extent, ball, have landed them in trouble. They have put themselves in a whole and they need to dig themselves out of it.
Australia v England Head to Head
The pair have played each other 23 times before and England leads their head to head series by eleven matches to ten, two games ending in a no result.
Australia have won seven of those matches on home soil, and England six, but two of those English victories came earlier this month in a three match series between the two countries,. England won by 8 runs in Perth and again in Canberra, and were well on the way to victory in the third match in Canberra before the weather intervened.
Australia v England Betting Odds
With both teams already having lost a match, this game has become filled with jeopardy. Another defeat and it will be very difficult for the losing team to make the knock-out stages of the competition.
In the recent series between the two teams it was England who had the better of it, but they have since encountered major problems with their batting line-up. Unless they can fix their misfiring top order, they deserve to be eliminated.
Australia have home field advantage, but the weather conditions in the country have robbed them of some of the benefits that were expected to accrue from that.
It is likely to be a very close match, and it could go either way.
The weather could yet play a part. The same rain that brought England’s game against Ireland to a premature end is expected to linger in the Melbourne area for several days yet, and there are fears that the match could be curtailed or even abandoned altogether.