Say it quietly ‘Down Under’, but Australia may need a favour from old enemy England if they are to reach the T20 World Cup semi-finals.
With England effectively assured of their semi-final place with four wins out of four in Group 1 of the tournament, Australia and South Africa are left to scramble over the last spot.
At the moment, the Proteas have six points from four games while Australia are on four points from three matches.
However, after an eight-wicket mauling by England in their last match after being dismissed for 125, Aaron Finch’s team took a hit on their run-rate which will be the tiebreaker should they finish level on points with South Africa.
On Thursday, Australia will look to even up their points and runs when they face a hapless Bangladesh side who have lost all four matches.
Despite their precarious position, the Australians, who still have the West Indies to face, insist they are not looking to England to help them out when Eoin Morgan’s men take on South Africa in their last group game on Saturday.
“No, we’re purely thinking about the two games we have to win. Sometimes that’s really good because you know you have to win those games,” said left-arm spinner Ashton Agar on Wednesday.
“We go into every game thinking that you have to win. It’s something that helps you move on from the England game.
“I think that’s really important, to move forward, to put that one behind us because England played incredibly well, and obviously they beat us pretty convincingly.”
Australia, who have never won the T20 World Cup, have so far defeated South Africa by five wickets and Sri Lanka by seven wickets, continuing the overall trend of teams fielding first coming out on top in the humid conditions of the Gulf.
“We’ve practiced bowling with wet balls. I think that’s something you have to prepare for coming to this part of the world,” said Agar, who took one wicket and made 20 runs in the game with England, his only appearance so far.