England may consider themselves “deserved” Champions Trophy favourites but Mitchell Starc says the jury is out on how they will cope in the cutthroat one-day tournament.
The hosts are full of confidence ahead of next month’s tournament after reinventing themselves under captain Eoin Morgan and coach Trevor Bayliss since a disastrous 2015 World Cup.
England allrounder Moeen Ali has already claimed his side are “deserved” favourites while wicketkeeper Sam Billings believed other teams were “petrified” of them.
But Australian left-arm quick Starc isn’t so sure.
“They are the home country. They will know conditions better than the rest of the teams but they have not done too well in tournaments in the past,” he said.
“They have a pretty strong set up at the moment.
“They are never a team to take lightly.
“(But) at times you are not quite sure what you are going to get from the Poms.”
Since bombing at the 2015 World Cup group stages, England have been one of the most consistent ODI teams of the past two years by winning 25 of 41 matches.
They have also posted eight of England’s 10 all-time ODI highest totals during that period.
However, Starc believed England – who have never won a major limited-overs tournament – may yet be found out by the Champions Trophy’s do-or-die format.
England are three-time World Cup runners-up and have made the Champions Trophy final twice – in 2004 and 2013.
“It is tournament play, you need to win games – you can’t have any hiccups,” Starc said.
“At the World Cup you can probably get away with one or two bad performances and still get through to the next round.
“But in Champions Trophy you need to win all three to make it through.”
It adds extra spice before world No.2 Australia face fifth-ranked England in their final pool match at Edgbaston on June 10.
They are in Group A along with Bangladesh and New Zealand.
Australia play warm-up matches against Sri Lanka (May 26) and Pakistan (May 29) before launching their Champions Trophy campaign against New Zealand on June 2.