Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Mitchell Starc knows the dire situation Australia face after their Champions Trophy match against Bangladesh was washed out on Monday.
Australia, whose first game against New Zealand was also abandoned due to rain, head into Saturday’s clash with arch-rivals England needing to win in order to have a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.
With Australia teetering on the brink of elimination, Starc is not only looking to help his side triumph in their final group stage match, but also send a message to England ahead of the highly-anticipated Ashes series in November.
“England probably expect themselves to win and they’ve talked themselves up in the media,” Starc, who took four wickets against Bangladesh, said. “So it’s nice to come out and rip in and know we have to win and play our best cricket heading into the back-end of the tournament.
“They’re obviously two very different teams to what we’re going to come up against during the summer (in the Ashes), but there’s a few familiar faces in both camps.
“For us it’s a must-win game. England have obviously got that win on the board and they’re pretty comfortable with the way they’re playing their cricket.
“It’s about trying to get that win to get through to that next stage, but to also try and find a few weak points in some of their players heading into the summer as well.”
When asked whether Australia can save their Champions Trophy campaign, Starc pointed out that his country’s win-loss record in situations like this reads favourably as they have won eight out of 12 matches that have been bilateral series deciders or knockout games in major tournaments.
Furthermore, with Australia missing out on the semi-finals in the last edition of the Champions Trophy in 2013, Starc admitted that it will spur his side on to avoid suffering the same fate this time around.
“It’s never hard to get up for a game … I think our team probably respond to must-win games really well,” he said. “Guys pretty much step up as a group and it brings out the best in us.
“And we’ve obviously got a good record in tournament play so I think this is something we can call upon in this game on Saturday.”