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Aussies ‘need to start winning quick’ to rescue World Cup bid

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Australia captain Pat Cummins admitted on Sunday that the five-time champions have “got to start winning and start winning quick” to rescue their faltering World Cup campaign.

Australia have lost both their opening matches, by six wickets to hosts India and 134 runs to South Africa, their heaviest defeat at a World Cup.

Despite boasting the batting firepower of David Warner and Steve Smith, they have yet to post a total of 200.

“We’re obviously 0-2, so we’ve got to start winning and start winning quick,” said Cummins ahead of Monday’s clash against Sri Lanka in Lucknow.

“Every game now becomes almost like a final. You’ve got to win just about all of them,” he said.

The figures so far make for grim reading for Australia.

None of their batsmen have made a half-century with Smith top-scoring with 46 against India and Marnus Labuschagne matching that modest mark in the rout by South Africa.

They have also been hamstrung by their fielding performances.

Against India, Virat Kohli was dropped on 12 before he went on to make a match-winning 85.

Had the catch been taken, India, chasing just 200 to win, would have been teetering at 20-4.

It got worse against South Africa where five chances went down.

Needing 312 to win, Australia slumped to 70-6 and were reduced to a damage limitation exercise in an effort to shore up their run rate.

“No doubt we haven’t been up to the standard that we like to hold,” said Cummins.

“We’ve been off the mark and been outplayed [in] both games. It’s not ideal at all. I think everyone was a little bit flat after the last game,” he added.

Australia are second from bottom of the 10-team table, behind even the Netherlands and propped up only by Afghanistan.

On Monday, they tackle fellow winless side Sri Lanka who have had no problems scoring runs — 326 against South Africa and 344 in the game with Pakistan.

Unfortunately for the 1996 champions, they conceded a World Cup record 428 to the Proteas while Pakistan’s pursuit to win by six wickets was the highest successful chase in tournament history.

Sri Lanka came out on top 3-2 in a five-match series with Australia on home soil in June last year.

However, Australia eased to a comfortable 87-run win when the sides met at the 2019 World Cup at The Oval.

“Looking back at 2019, India and South Africa were the two teams that we lost to in the round games there,” added Cummins.

“I think in the last year, they’re kind of the two teams that we’ve had the most trouble against.

“So the opportunity now is we’ve got some teams we haven’t played for a while that we’ve had a lot of success against and we can be really confident when we go out there,” he said.

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