It’s another 9 days for the ICC World Cup to kick off and all the 10 participating teams are busy giving the final touches to their preparations. The experts are busy predicting the semi-finalists and the probable champions even though it is one of the most difficult tasks under the sun. Former Australia captain Steve Waugh, too, has given his verdict on the upcoming World Cup, picking his favourites.
No wonder his choice, like a majority of those, is England as the Eoin Morgan-led side has put up some staggering numbers over the last four years. They are unbeaten in 11 straight ODI series and recently thumped Pakistan by 4-0 in the five-match series to announce themselves just before the mega event. With the flat pitches on the offing, England looks the most equipped side as they bat extremely deep and each one of them has the ability to contribute significantly.
Their form has been outstanding
During a recent conversation, Steve Waugh mentioned that the England team has been performing really well in the recent months. He revealed that the pressure is bound to come as they are playing at home, but that is where head coach Trevor Bayliss’ role comes in. Waugh noted that England are his first favourites, while India and Australia are second on the list.
“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,” Steve Waugh was quoted as saying by ICC’s official website.
The former skipper further stated that the teams will also be wary of Australia as they know the potential of the defending champions. Australia was struggling with form before the start of this year, but they have peaked up at the right moment with two back to back series victories against India and Pakistan. They have also boosted their chances further with the inclusion of David Warner and Steve Smith.
“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,” Waugh added.