Australia captain Aaron Finch hopes the holders don’t become the latest World Cup team to be derailed by bad weather.
Heavy rain has forced two no-results in the World Cup so far and Finch has been anxiously eyeing the forecast to see if Australia could be the next victims when they face Pakistan at Taunton on Wednesday.
Pakistan’s match against Sri Lanka was washed out on Friday before the clash between South Africa and the West Indies was abandoned after less than eight overs play on Monday.
There is rain predicted in the Taunton area on Wednesday and Finch conceded luck with the weather could play a role in who makes the semifinals from the 10-team group stage.
“I think it (weather) might play a huge part in the next few days,” Finch told reporters on Tuesday.
“Next week it starts fine and looks good across the country for the remainder of the tournament.
“So it’s important that you get early wins on the board because you don’t want to be on the wrong end of a couple of washouts that might leave you just outside that top four.”
Australia failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the 2017 Champions Trophy in England following their rained-off matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh before they lost to England on D/L method.
If the match does get underway, Finch expects unpredictable Pakistan to provide a stern test.
They lost to the West Indies by seven wickets in their opening match, but shocked tournament favourites England with a fine performance.
“I think Pakistan are obviously a very dangerous side,” Finch said of Pakistan, who have only won one of their last 14 matches against Australia.
“We’ve seen consistently throughout, especially ICC tournaments, that they win a lot of games and they get themselves in a position to win the tournament.
“They had a great Champions Trophy. So regardless of what kind of form Pakistan go in with, they’re always incredibly dangerous.”
Pakistan survived a defeat against India in their opening game of the 2017 Champions Trophy before crushing their arch rivals in the final, leaving Finch a firm admirer of several of their players.
“They’ve got some world-class players. Obviously Babar (Azam) is in great touch batting at No. 3 and holding their batting together,” Finn said.
“(Mohammad) Amir coming back and he looks to be back to his best. He’s swinging the ball again. Wahab (Riaz) has been fast and aggressive. Shadab (Khan) is a great bowler.
“Hasan (Ali) had a great Champions Trophy as well,” said Finch of the pace bowler who was the player of the Champions Trophy with 13 wickets in 2017.
“When you look down their side there’s no player that you can disregard. They’ve got a lot of experience on their side. They’ve got a lot of match winners.”