Australia’s T20 World Cup title defence is on the ropes — and England paceman Sam Curran hopes his team can end up dealing the knockout blow.
England started their tournament on Saturday with a cruisy five-wicket win over Afghanistan with 11 balls to spare in Perth.
It was in stark contrast to Australia’s opener, in which the defending champions suffered a crushing 89-run loss to New Zealand.
It means Australia has now little wiggle room in its bid to qualify for the semi-finals.
Even winning the remaining group matches would not guarantee a top-two finish in the group after the net run-rate received an almighty whack against NZ.
Another loss is likely to spell the end of Australia’s campaign.
Curran is already looking forward to facing the hosts.
“On Wednesday, it’s Ireland, which is going to be another tricky game. They are a dangerous team,” Curran said.
“But there’s no hiding that Friday is going to be a pretty epic game against Australia at the MCG, which I’m sure will be an incredible experience for all of us.
“If we win there, it will be great for us, and it might put Australia in a tricky position.”
Curran snared 5-10 off 3.4 overs against Afghanistan to become the first England player to take five wickets in a T20I.
Ben Stokes (2-19) and express paceman Mark Wood (2-23) were also stand-out bowlers.
But England’s batting left much to be desired, with Dawid Malan (18 off 30 balls) particularly lethargic.
Curran wasn’t too worried about the scratchy batting display.
“We knew it would be a tricky chase,” he said.
“They’ve got some experienced, high-quality bowlers. But we won in the end, and that’s the most important thing.”