London:Australia coach Tim Nielsen believed his side were gearing up well for the World Twenty20 after their impressive seven-wickt warm-up win against New Zealand here at the Oval.
Mitchell Johnson took four for 20, after new-ball partner Brett Lee made the initial breakthrough by dismissing Brendon McCullum for a duck, and played a key role in a top-order collapse that saw New Zealand slump to 21 for five before recovering to 147 all out.
And when Australia wobbled at 26 for two in reply, an assured stand of 104 between captain Ricky Ponting (56) and heir apparent Michael Clarke (49 not out) got them back on course for a victory achieved with four balls to spare.
After Monday's win a bullish Nielsen told reporters: "I feel we are building all the time. With Brett batting at No 10 we feel we bat all the way down.
"We showed today we've got seven or eight blokes who are frontline bowlers as well.
"And when we are fielding at our best, we are probably as good as anybody."
This win came hot on the heels of Monday's 38-run success against Bangladesh and left Nielsen in confident mood ahead of their tournament opener with the West Indies at the Oval here on Saturday.
Group C, has somewhat predictably, been labelled the 'Group of Death' as, unlike the three other pools, there is no minnow nation with Australia taking on two rival Test sides in the West Indies and Sri Lanka.
But Nielsen believes that will help his side, having seen his first game in charge of Australia end in the embarrassment of a five-wicket loss to Zimbabwe at the inaugural World Twenty20 in Cape Town two years ago.
"I agree we've got a tough group but that's added a bit of edge to what we are doing, we know we've got to be up and going from Saturday," Nielsen said.
"The first game we played at the last World Twenty in 2007 was my first game as coach and we had the glorious result of a defeat by Zimbabwe.
"We are looking not to repeat that sort of form first up this time, which will probably mean the group of death for us if that happens."
Nielsen though was heartened by the form of the 27-year-old Johnson, who was rested from the squad's recent trip to the United Arab Emirates for their series with Pakistan.
"He's come off a month off and done some work in the gym. He was beaming last (Monday) night, he thought his rhythm was there and the ball was coming out fast without him trying hard, which is always a good indicator.
"Mitch is always a good one to back three or four runs in, he seems to bowl at his best, and he's only two runs in so I hope he's got some more improvement left in him."
Nielsen added: "A lot of people have spoken about the age of our team but we've got the best skilled players in Australia playing at the moment and unless people are on their game, we are going to be hard to beat."
But with Twenty20, in the coach's words, "a flip of the coin at times," Nielsen said he expected Pakistan, who lost in the 2007 final to India to be strong challengers this time around.
"India have played so much Twenty20 but Pakistan have got an outstanding record, probably the best record in Twenty20 international cricket.
"But one player can win you a game, the likes of (Kevin) Pietersen for England, the likes of Ponting, Johnson or Lee for Australia, (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni for India, who knows.
"We've got a good mix though, I think we'll go close."
New Zealand fought back after their top order collapse on Monday thanks to a stand of 71 between all-rounder Scott Styris (42) and reserve wicket-keeper Peter McGlashan who, playing as a specialist batsman, made an impressive 49 in his first senior match against Australia.
McGlashan, who until recently thought his only involvement at this event would be in cheering on his sister Sara, a member of the New Zealand women's team, made a strong case to be given the No 7 spot.
However, he said: "The reality is we have so many guys who can fill it as they all bat in that position.
"It was nice to take the opportunity: it was one of those situations where I had nothing to lose and to take advantage of that was good."