Were England not in such a complete and utter mess they might have afforded themselves a smile at Australia’s travails so far in this World Cup – but, they are, so they can’t.
And were they to risk a smirk, there is every danger it would be wiped off their faces pretty quick as Australia, who have only three points from three games, face Afghanistan in Pool A tomorrow – and welcome back the big-hitting James Faulkner.
The all-rounder will be available for the first time in the tournament – having been ruled out of the win over England, the rain-ruined match against Bangladesh and the defeat to New Zealand – and is just the sort of batsman England would kill for.
The Aussies do, however, face the prospect of being without fast bowler Pat Cummins, who is a doubt after sustaining a side strain in their defeat to New Zealand. Cummins picked up the injury after making his World Cup debut in the one-wicket loss to the Black Caps on Saturday, but scans have revealed that it is not serious. Josh Hazlewood is in line to replace him if he is not passed fit to play at the WACA.
Australia are in need of a convincing win to kick-start their campaign. Michael Clarke’s side were poor with the bat against New Zealand, managing just 151. Faulkner is eager for the team to bounce back: “We didn’t perform as well as we could and that’s just going to make the team hungrier.”
Pool B
Pakistan v UAE
Napier, 1am
Umpires Johan Cloete (SA) & S Ravi (Ind)
TV Sky Sports World Cup
Pool A
Australia v Afghanistan
Perth, 6.30am
Umpires Kumar Dharmasena (SL) & Michael Gough (Eng)
TV Sky Sports World Cup