Australia peaking at right time after rough start, feels Smith

Since losing to India and South Africa in their first two matches of the tournament, five-time champions Australia have won five in a row

Reuters
Published : 6 Nov 2023, 12:57 PM
Updated : 6 Nov 2023, 12:57 PM

Australia have recovered from the rough start to their World Cup campaign and are peaking at the right time heading into the business end of the tournament, batsman Steve Smith said ahead of Tuesday's match against Afghanistan.

Since losing to India and South Africa in their first two matches of the tournament, five-time champions Australia have won five in a row and are third in the standings.

The top-four teams will make the semi-finals and another win against Afghanistan on Tuesday's at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium will be enough for the side to seal their spot in the knockouts.

"You do want to be peaking at the right time in the end, but obviously you need to do enough to make the semi-finals," Smith told reporters on Monday. "I think that'd be the beauty of it if we were able to get there.

"We're playing some good cricket so hopefully we can have a good day tomorrow, get ourselves in there and give ourselves a chance."

Smith has scored 205 runs from Australia's seven games, not a rich haul by his standards but the right-handed batter feels his best was in store.

"It's been a little bit disappointing at times," Smith said. "But I still feel like I'm hitting the ball quite well, so hopefully some runs at the back end of the tournament."

Smith also had rich praise for Australia captain Pat Cummins, who entered the tournament having led the side in just four matches in the format.

"I think he's improved as it's sort of gone on," Smith said. "He's got the tempos of the game, he's understanding the pace of the game a lot more. He hasn't done it a lot so he's sort of working into it. I think he's done a terrific job after we were particularly 0-2 to get us in the position where we are now.

"He's doing a great job and yeah, we're right behind him and hopefully we can play well for him tomorrow."