Ahmedbad: Australia skipper Pat Cummins on Friday said he was "a little bit surprised" at England's disappointing show at the World Cup but still rates them as "dangerous" opponents.
The two Ashes rivals meet on Saturday with third-placed Australia looking to further boost their semi-final hopes with a win at the world's biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.
The five-time winners will be without two key players in Glenn Maxwell (injured) and Mitchell Marsh (back home for personal reasons) and only have 13 players left in the squad.
Defending champions England remain on the brink of World Cup elimination with five losses in six matches and another defeat would officially knock them out of the final-four race.
"Yeah, a little bit surprised, they've obviously got some class players and performed really well in these kind of tournaments over the last few years," Cummins said.
"These tournaments are pretty fickle. You see it in T20 tournaments around the world, sometimes the best-looking teams just don't start off well and then find it hard to kind of gain ground."
England knocked Australia out of the 2019 World Cup in the semi-finals and went on to win their maiden title.
Cummins still believes England have the players to put up a stiff challenge on Saturday.
"They've got a lot of similar personnel, so they're going to be dangerous tomorrow," said Cummins. "You've got to be careful of any team with that kind of calibre of players."
The two teams come into the contest with memories of their thrilling and acrimonious Ashes series, which ended 2-2, still fresh.
Last injury 'hiccup'
Cummins said the historic rivalry will be an added incentive to win the match and boost their semi-final push.
"I mean it helps our chances to get into the semis so that's probably the overarching feeling of winning this one," said Cummins.
"It's an old rivalry. You're not going to lie, if they beat us, I know it's probably just that little bit sweeter than beating other teams.
"And the same with their history of how well they've done in white ball cricket. It would be a great win."
Australia are well-placed to reach the semi-finals after winning four games, but the loss of Maxwell and Marsh has been a blow to them.
Cummins said they expect to book a place in the final-four and move into the business end free of injuries.
"We need to obviously make the semi-finals, but hopefully this is the last little kind of hiccup where we've got a smaller squad to pick from and then once we get closer, we've got a full squad," said Cummins.
"But I've kind of got in my mind the main 11, the way that we want to play, but really happy with our squad."
Cummins said Maxwell, who fell off a golf buggy to suffer concussion, is expected to be fit for their game against Afghanistan next week.
Marsh is indefinitely out and Cummins did not have a date for his return.