Skipper Steve Smith expects super-competitive 50-over tournament in England
Australia captain Steve Smith has shrugged off suggestions that England are favourites to claim the ICC Champions Trophy.
England are the tournament hosts and have attracted most of the money from punters – despite the fact they’ve never won a major 50-over international event.
And Smith, whose side face New Zealand at Edgbaston in their opening match on Friday night (8pm AEST), believes any one of four or five teams will fancy their chances.
Australia also play Bangladesh and finally England themselves in their Group A fixtures and have a strong bowling line up of Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson.
IPL star Chris Lynn has been brought into the squad and could provide some fireworks with the bat, leaving Smith quietly confident that the Aussies can seriously challenge for a trophy they last claimed in 2009.
“It doesn't really bother me what the bookies think to be perfectly honest," Smith said. "I think England are a very good side, obviously playing at home they have some match-winners in their line up, but I think a lot of the other teams are very good as well.
"South Africa have a world-class team. India have a world-class team. And a few others as well on their day that can play some really good cricket too - and that includes us.
"It's a strong competition and one that we are really looking forward to."
In Group B, India will battle against South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, with the top two teams from each section progressing to the semi-finals. The final is scheduled to take place on June 18 at The Oval in south London.