Birmingham, June 11: After their meek surrender against England in their opening game, a struggling Australia will have to work on their batting frailties when they take on a confident New Zealand in a Group A match of the Champions Trophy here on Wednesday (June 12).
Australia, sans their regular skipper Michael Clarke, proved to be no match to the English side as they suffered a huge 48-run defeat to start their campaign on a wrong foot.
With Clarke ruled out due to back injury for the second successive game, it will be a big test for the stand-in skipper George Bailey to turn Australia's fortune around tomorrow.
Australia bowlers Clint McKay, James Faulkner and Shane Watson did a decent job in restricting England to 269 when they were looking at a 300-plus score at one stage but they still need to add more sting to their attack.
The Aussie batsmen could not pose any threat to the England bowlers, who strangulated them with both pace and spin. Barring skipper Bailey and allrounder James Faulkner, none of the batsmen were up the mark. What was baffling was most of them got starts but later blew those away.
The two-time champions, hence, will have to re-think about the team composition as another defeat will pave their way for an early exit from the tournament.
"We need to get the balance right, we need to get partnerships going, that needs to be addressed. We have to turn around things," Bailey had said after their loss to England.
New Zealand, on the other hand, are high on confidence having started their campaign on a winning note, beating Sri Lanka by one wicket. The 2000 winners came into the tournament after a morale-boosting 2-1 series win over England and they would look to carry their good form when they clash with Australia.
Australia: George Bailey (captain), Shane Watson, David Warner, Phil Hughes, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Clint McKay, Xavier Doherty, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Glenn Maxwell, Michael Clarke.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (captain), Doug Bracewell, Ian Butler, Grant Elliott, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi (wicketkeeper), Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori, Kane Williamson.
Match starts at 3PM IST