ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Steve Waugh Believes David Warner and Steven Smith’s Return Have Created A Dangerous Australian Team
Steve Waugh, the former Australian World Cup-winning captain, believes that Australia is ready for the upcoming Cricket World Cup after David Warner and Steven Smith‘s return to the international cricket.
Both the senior Australian cricketers David Warner and Steven Smith are set to return to the national team after more than one year later. In March 2018, both faced 12-month suspensions from Cricket Australia (CA) due to their involvement in the ball-tampering incident during the Cape Town Test against South Africa.
Recently, both completed their suspension periods, but they haven’t returned to international cricket yet. However, observing their recent performances in different T20 leagues, the national selectors included both of them in Team Australia squad for the upcoming Cricket World Cup.
David Warner recently won the Orange Cap in IPL 2019 after scoring 692 runs in 12 innings (average 69.20).
Meanwhile, Steven Smith initially struggled in IPL 2019, but later, he found his batting form. Recently, in the three-match unofficial ODIs against New Zealand XI, Smith scored 22, 89* and 91* respectively in Australia XI jersey.
Every side will be wary of Australia – Steve Waugh
Earlier, both of them underwent elbow surgeries. However, soon after their return to the cricket, Warner and Smith both have found back their batting forms. The 1999 World Cup-winning captain Steve Waugh feels that the present Australian side is a headache for every opposition in the forthcoming Cricket World Cup.
Waugh recently told ICC, “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.”
I think Australia could go really deep in the tournament – Steve Waugh
Since the suspensions of Warner and Smith, the Australian national cricket team faced a massive downfall. In that period, they were always struggling to win the matches. However, in their last eight ODIs, Australia won all those matches, and mostly they dominated in those matches.
Though Waugh believes that Australia is not a favourite side to win the upcoming Cricket World Cup, he feels that this side has the potential to scare the other teams.
Waugh added, “Their form was very poor, but all of a sudden, they’ve won their last eight matches, and they’ve got Smith and Warner in the team. And that is ominous for other sides, they know how good these sides are.
“Australia will be one of the teams… probably not the favourite for the tournament, but the team that other sides will be probably most fearful of. They could do some damage. So I think Australia could go really deep in the tournament.”
England to me are probably the favourites – Steve Waugh
The 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup will run from 30th May to 14th July in England and Wales. A total of top ten teams will participate in this competition.
Waugh believes that the host side England is the top favourite for this upcoming tournament. England is currently the no.1-ranked ODI side.
Waugh has further added that Australia and India are the second favourite sides for the forthcoming Cricket World Cup.
Waugh said, “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.”
The record five-time Cricket World Cup winners Australia will play the upcoming Cricket World Cup as the defending champions. They will begin their journey in the forthcoming tournament on 1st June when they will face Afghanistan at Bristol.
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