Mike Hussey bullish on Australia's World Cup chances

Friday, 18 August 2023 (15:46 IST)
Sydney: Australia great Mike Hussey believes his former side are in with an excellent chance of winning the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in India this year and has nominated the players that must fire if they are to claim an unprecedented sixth title.
Hussey won a World Cup with Australia in the West Indies back in 2007 and more recently played a major role in helping England claim their maiden ICC Men's T20 World Cup title last year when part of their coaching setup.
While Australia fell short at the most recent edition of the 50-over showcase when they were bundled out by eventual champions England in 2019, Hussey feels the fact most of their squad remains intact from that event should prove a major positive this time around, an ICC report on Friday said.
"I think Australia’s got a great chance as they have kept a (large) group of players together for a period of time now," Hussey said.
“They all know their roles pretty well and they’ve got a bit of continuity in their team as well," he said.
"I think they’ve been trying a few little different things. They performed well in the series (in March) against India in Indian conditions and that will give them enormous confidence coming into the World Cup," Hussey said.
"And Australia has a great history in World Cup events. So, I know they will be very determined to do extremely well," he said.
“There’s so many great teams. It’s hard to pick a favourite but I think Australia will give themselves a big chance to be right up there," Hussey said.
Australia were the first team to name their squad for this year's World Cup, with the five-time champions announcing a major surprise by leaving out star batter Marnus Labuschagne from their squad and including uncapped spinner Tanveer Sangha in a group of 18 players that will need to be reduced to 15 prior to the cut-off date on September 28.
Hussey expects spin to play a major factor on the sub-continent pitches teams will encounter during the World Cup in India and has nominated Australia's premier slow bowler as a crucial cog in their title hopes.
"Adam Zampa could play a big role for Australia throughout the tournament," Hussey said.
"He has been really good over the last few years," Hussey said.
"And I think Mitch Marsh is someone that can certainly have a big impact. He has been given a great role, batting in the top three now and he is playing with enormous confidence. So, if he gets his confidence up, he can be a really tough man to stop," he said.
But Hussey knows it will take more than just a handful of players to fire if Australia are to win another World Cup title and that all squad members must make a contribution during the six-week tournament.
"You can’t rely on just one of two key players to win you a World Cup and it’s going to take a collective effort,” Hussey said.
"But I think for Australia to do really well, they need their big guns to really step up and I guess when you think of that, you think of Steve Smith and Pat Cummins," he added. (UNI)

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