London - Steve Smith insists Australia's batsmen will be
ready for their do or die Champions Trophy showdown with England despite their
lack of action in the tournament.
Smith's side endured the frustration of having Monday's
clash with Bangladesh abandoned due to rain, just days after their opening
fixture against New Zealand was also washed out.
On both occasions, it has been Australia who were batting in
the early stages of their innings when bad weather ended play.
Against Bangladesh, they had reached 83-1 in pursuit of 183
to win and required only four more overs to be bowled to ensure they would take
maximum points via the Duckworth-Lewis rule used in rain-affected matches.
With two points from their two matches, Australia will have
to beat hosts England in Birmingham on June 10 to reach the semi-finals.
"I think it makes the equation pretty simple for
us," Smith said.
"We have to beat England and then I think we're
"I haven't really read into anything else that's
happened. I guess we've just got to beat England."
In the circumstances, Australia could have done with their
batsmen being in good form before the crunch encounter with their old rivals.
But, asked if their lack of time at the crease could
undermine them against England, Australia captain Smith said: "I'm sure
they will be okay.
"You know, most of the guys have been playing a lot of
cricket, anyway, having been at the IPL and things like that.
"I think once they get out in the middle, things will
just click into place, and yeah, hopefully we can play well in
On the bright side for Smith, his bowlers were more
effective against Bangladesh after struggling to find their rhythm in the New
Pace bowler Mitchell Starc was the cream of the crop with
four wickets in nine balls in rout the Bangladesh tail.
"I thought all our bowlers were a lot better today. We
hit some good areas early on and challenged the defence of Bangladeshi
batsmen," Smith said.
"Everyone that bowled I thought did a pretty good job
today, and it was nice that we were able to turn things around from the way
things went in the first game against New Zealand."
Starc's blistering spell was some consolation for Smith, but
he was still left to rue the weather and what he felt was the umpires' quick
decision to go off, thus denying Australia a chance for those vital four overs.
"Of course I didn't want to go off. I was happy to keep
batting through the rain," he said.
But the umpires are there to make a decision and I think
drinks was at the end of that over, which probably didn't help.
"If the game had just carried on, perhaps they may have
had a different opinion.
"It's disappointing not to get a win but can't do much
about the weather and we can't control that."
Beaten by England in their opening match, Bangladesh are
without a win and look likely to be eliminated in their last game against New
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza remains hopeful of a
"You never know. I think even in 2015 World Cup, we got
one point from Australia and went through. It really helped us," he said.
"This time we have a chance. We have to beat New
Zealand and obviously we have to wait for a few results as well.
"Australia has to win against England and we have a
great chance to beat New Zealand and go through. So let's see what happens."