England v Australia: Three key World Cup battles

John WEAVER
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Australia's David Warner has scored two centuries at the World Cup

Australia's David Warner has scored two centuries at the World Cup (AFP Photo/Paul ELLIS)

London (AFP) - England face Australia on Tuesday in one of the most eagerly anticipated matches at the World Cup so far.

Hosts England have lost twice, against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, while Australia are riding high after five wins out of six, with their only defeat coming against India.

AFP Sport looks at three key battles in the match at Lord's:

Warner v Archer - top-order tussle

Jofra Archer has given England's attack a new dimension with his raw pace, taking 15 wickets so far to top the charts at the World Cup alongside Australia's Mitchell Starc and Pakistan's Mohammad Amir.

The Barbados-born bowler has linked up well with Chris Woakes and Mark Wood to give Eoin Morgan's side impressive firepower and the ability to decapitate the top order.

Warner is right back at the top of the international game after returning from a year-long ban for ball-tampering with something to prove.

He scored a relatively sedate 89 not out off 114 balls in Australia's first match against Afghanistan and has since stepped on the gas, reaching a century against Pakistan and then smashing 166 off 147 balls against Bangladesh.

Buttler v Maxwell - the finishers

England's Jos Buttler is one of the most destructive batsmen in world cricket, with the ability to change the course of matches in the blink of an eye.

Buttler scored a century in a losing cause against Pakistan earlier in the tournament, but did not get many overs against Afghanistan and was dismissed cheaply against Sri Lanka.

It is the Lancashire batsman's ability to take the game away from opponents towards the end of matches that is so impressive.

Buttler's strike rate of more than 120 runs per 100 balls is bettered by Australia's Glenn Maxwell, who boasts a strike rate of 124-plus.

Maxwell has shown glimpses of his capabilities at the tournament in England and Wales.

He smashed 46 in 25 balls against Sri Lanka and then produced an even more eye-catching knock against Bangladesh.

Coming in the 45th over, he flayed the attack for 32 off 10 balls -- before he was run out he was in sight of breaking the record for the fastest one-day international fifty held by South Africa's AB de Villiers (16 balls).

Rashid v Zampa - the spinners

So far at the World Cup it has been the quicker bowlers who have made the bigger impact in seam-friendly conditions, with South Africa's Imran Tahir leading the way for the spinners, with 10 wickets.

England's Adil Rashid had a slow start to his World Cup campaign but has taken five wickets in his past two matches and offers a wicket-taking threat as well as the ability to contain.

The leg-spinner has taken 136 wickets in one-day internationals since the start of 2015 -- the second-highest tally behind New Zealand paceman Trent Boult.

Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa has only played four games and has disappointing tournament figures of 5-236.

Former Australia captain Allan Border has suggested off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who has not yet played at the World Cup, could add attacking threat but Zampa will be keen to prove his worth on the biggest stage.