Steven Smith admitted his Australia side "got away with one" after rain forced an abandonment in their ICC Champions Trophy match against New Zealand at Edgbaston.
Smith criticised his seamers for "one of the worst bowling displays that we've put on for a very long time," as New Zealand amassed 254 for three at the end of the 39th over. And while he felt they clawed back some ground in the final six overs of the innings - New Zealand lost seven wickets for 37 runs in that period - he still accepted Australia would "have preferred to been in New Zealand's position" when the rain came.
"I thought it was probably one of the worst bowling displays that we've put on for a very long time," Smith said after the match. "We bowled both sides of wicket. We gave them a lot of freebies. It was pretty ordinary.
"We certainly would have preferred to be in New Zealand's position when we came off the end there. We still had a lot of work to do and they've got a quality bowling attack as well. So we perhaps got away with one there."
Australia were wobbling at 53 for 3 when the match was abandoned. Both sides took a point from the game and realistically have to win both their remaining matches if they are to progress to the semi-finals.
While Smith suggested "rust" might have been a factor in the performance - Mitchell Starc hasn't played a white-ball match since February and any sort of cricket since early March, while Josh Hazlewood played just one warm-up match in a similar period - both he and opposing captain, Kane Williamson, noted the aggression of the New Zealand top order as a factor in unsettling the Australian attack.
"Let's hope it's rust and let's hope it's gone," Smith said. "Because that was, as I said, was pretty ordinary.
"But credit to them. They came out quite hard and played quite well up top. And Kane timed his innings beautifully and played really well throughout the middle."
With Luke Ronchi, once an Australia player, thrashing a brisk half-century, New Zealand raced to 117 for one in the 16th over. Willaimson felt that approach may have been partially responsible for the off-colour performance from the Australian bowlers.
"I thought the opening partnership from us was very, very good," Williamson said. "And put them under a bit of pressure on a good batting surface.
"I thought Ronchi was outstanding setting the tone today. Martin Guptill as well. That was a very good partnership at the top of the order against a very good bowling attack. It was a great effort by Luke and very good innings."
Both captains agreed the result was "not ideal" and accepted their sides had to win their final two games in the group stages to stand a reasonable chance of progressing.
"The nature of this tournament is that every game is basically knockout," Williamson said. "We played some good cricket and we can't control the weather. Although it is a little bit frustrating."
"It's obviously not ideal to have a washout," Smith said. "So for us now it's about making sure that we're playing each game like a final and winning the next two. It's a pretty quick tournament. You can't really afford a washout or a loss."