With just 9 days to the all-important ICC Cricket World Cup to begin, all 10 teams are working regressively with the full fortitude to keep no box unturned. With players busy preparing, the cricket-pundits and ones who have played the sport are busy predicting their semi-finalist in the twelfth edition.
Former Australia skipper, Steve Waugh, too, has given his verdict on the upcoming 50-over tournament, picking his favourites. Interestingly, the former cricketer, hasn’t picked his own country as the probable champions in the upcoming tournament. Instead, he has backed hosts England who recently thrashed Pakistan 4-0 as the firm favourites.
“England to me are probably the favourites – their form has been outstanding over the last couple of years. They are playing at home. Sometimes, that creates more pressure, but they’ve got a really good coach in Trevor Bayliss to keep the players grounded. So I think England would be favourites, and probably Australia and India on that second line of favouritism,” he was quoted as saying by ICC’s official website.
Despite naming England as the favourites for the World Cup, the 53-year-old Waugh said that every participating team should be way of Australia.
“Every side will be wary of Australia. They know the potential of the Australian side. There’s been turmoil in Australian cricket over the last 12 months, but that has been put aside now. We’ve got our best players available to be picked in Smith and Warner. Their form was very poor, but all of a sudden, they’ve won their last eight matches. And that is ominous for other sides, they know how good these sides are,” the 53-year-old further added.
Meanwhile, the five-time World Cup champions will step into the tournament with the idea to defend the title, and this remains to be seen if they manage to turn thoughts into action. Australia will play its first game of the tournament against Afghanistan.