With the 2019 World Cup fast approaching, the preparations are going on a rapid flow in the Australian camp, who are gearing up to defend the title that they won by defeating joint hosts New Zealand in the finals of the 2015 edition of the tournament. With two fantastic series victories against India and Australia in their own backyards on their back and the return of the two mainstays, David Warner and Steve Smith, the reigning champions are surely looking as one of the top contenders to win the coveted title.
He still stands as the highest scorer in a World Cup final. In the title clash of the 2007 edition played in Bridgetown, Adam Gilchrist had belted 149 in just 104 balls to bury Sri Lanka and better the record of his captain Ricky Ponting who had pulverized India with a 140 not out in the 2003 final. The 47-year-old is one of those rare cricketers who had won each of the World Cup that he had played (1999, 2003 and 2007) and he is eager to tip Australia on ways to win the trophy for a record sixth time.
“Australia. Certainly, on paper, they’re as competitive as anyone with the names that are there now and the momentum they built up in the one-day format once they left Australian shores,” quoted Adam Gilchrist.
The confidence is there
Gilchrist mentioned that the confidence is surely there in the Aussie dressing room. He reckoned that there is absolutely no major reason as to why Australia cannot win its sixth World Cup title. “Obviously there’s confidence there. I just like what I’m seeing and five out of 12 World Cups have come this way so I can’t see any reason why we can’t win another one,” said the man of the match of the 2007 final.
Australia had a poor run till the home series against India earlier this year as they lost it but in the last couple of months, Aaron Finch’s men have bounced back hard, winning a series against India 3-2 after trailing 0-2 and then crushing Pakistan in an away series 5-0. Finch himself also hit the purple patch on time.
Australia’s eight consecutive wins came without any contribution from Steve Smith and David Warner, the two cricketers who made a comeback to the side following the conclusion of their year-long ban.
“The fact that we won five doesn’t guarantee these guys anything. It’s more just the recent results, the momentum that’s been built up and the names that are on the paper. It’s a very, very strong, well-balanced team,” Gilchrist concluded.