Centurion:Humbled soundly by Australia for the seventh time in eight matches, England captain Andrew Strauss says he foresees Ricky Ponting's men clinching their second successive Champions Trophy title on Monday.
Australia, riding on twin unbeaten hundreds by Ponting and all-rounder Shane Watson, thrashed England by nine wickets on Friday to storm into the finals of the eight-nation tourney, the final of which is scheduled on Monday.
Australia will take on the winners of the other semifinal between Pakistan and New Zealand to be played on Saturday.
Strauss said given the destructive form of the Aussies, it is hard to see any other team clinching the title.
"It's hard to look past Australia, it's hard to beat them, they are the defending champions. There's lot of variety in their bowling," Strauss said after last night's loss. "We still are not among the top two teams of the world," he added.
Reflecting on the defeat, Strauss said losing half of the side before 100 runs proved devastating.
If you lose six wickets so early, you are always struggling. We needed three or four early wickets but both Ponting and Watson played exceptionally well," Strauss said.
"They (the Australian bowlers) were too good for us. They bowled very attacking line and length and asked questions to the batsmen," he added.
Strauss, nevertheless, was happy that his batsmen are beginning to play a lot more shots.
"We will keep playing our shots. We can only get better at our skills. Today it didn't come off. It's still refreshing to see guys expressing themselves. Today was a good wicket but our shots just didn't come off," he said.
"In seven matches in England, we went backwards. But I feel we came forward here a bit, gained in confidence and played in the right sort of manner. We are moving forward as a side and the five matches against South Africa will be a nice way to check progress," he added, referring to the 1-6 ODI series loss to Australia before the Champions Trophy.