Former Australia cricketer Adam Gilchrist chose Australia as a favourite in the World Cup on Tuesday and was in doubt if the host, England and South Africa could win the games in the knockouts. Despite having a dismal 2015 World Cup, England are the World No. 1 team in the One Day Internationals and have the record of 11 straight bilateral ODI series wins. But Gilchrist thinks his home team could win their fifth world titles.
“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. 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,” he recently told to Fox Cricket.
Australia, on the other hand, has been in really good shape. They won two back-to-back series against India and Pakistan. With Steve Smith and David Warner’s inclusion in the squad, Australia has become one of the strongest teams as well.
“I always thought once they got their full squad at full strength they were always going to be as competitive as anyone. At the start of last Australia summer you would have said they were a long way off but there was always a lot to happen between then and the start of the World Cup,” said Gilchrist.
“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. And I think a lot of shoots are forming from the seeds of leadership Justin Langer planted as well and I think they’re coming together really nicely,” he later added.
While talking about England, Gilchrist said, “very, very good one-day team at the moment”.
“The expectation on them is going to be huge and they’re a very, very good one-day team at the moment and very composed and balanced,” Gilchrist said. “The hype is going to grow and grow and I’m expecting they’ll get through to the semis but then it’s just a knockout game and that’s the fear isn’t it?
“Historically, Australia hasn’t really feared that part of it. Eventually in any tournament, you get to the knockout stage and fortunately, that’s boded well for us whereas for South Africa and England it hasn’t gone so well,” the veteran further added.
Australia will begin their World Cup campaign on June 1 against Afghanistan in County Ground, Bristol.