‘Up to seven teams’ in the running to win 2019 World Cup, says Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur says ‘up to seven teams’ can win the World Cup (Picture: Getty)

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur says there are ‘up to seven teams’ capable of winning the 2019 World Cup, with Australia one of the favourites.

Australia won the last tournament in 2015 but were not thought of as one of the leading contenders ahead of the summer after a dismal year both on and off the field.

They have enjoyed an impressive turnaround since Christmas, however, winning eight successive one-day internationals to draw with India and beat Pakistan 5-0.

Following Pakistan’s demoraling series defeat, head coach Arthur said: ‘I definitely think Australia are [capable of winning the World Cup]. They’re travelling really well.

Australia won the last tournament in 2015 (Picture: Getty)

‘All the final jigsaw parts are coming together nicely. Australia look a very, very good side.

‘They will be a threat at the World Cup … I think there’s up to seven teams that can win the World Cup.’

Pakistan rested a number of stars in the series but Australia’s World Cup XI could also look different this summer.

Impressive fast bowler Pat Cummins only played one of the five matches and Steve Smith and David Warner could return to the side after serving their 12-month bans for ball-tampering.

Arthur, who coached Australia between 2011 and 2013, added: ‘You get Warner and Smith back, you put Starc and Cummins back into that line-up. It’s pretty formidable.’

Aaron Finch’s Australia smashed Pakistan 5-0 (Picture: Getty)

Batsman Usman Khawaja enjoyed prolific series against India and Pakistan, scoring two centuries and five fifties in the ten matches.

And Arthur believes the 32-year-old has developed into one of the best players in the world.

‘He always was a class player,’ Arthur said. ‘He seems to have taken this game to the next level.

‘He’s among the top batsmen in the world cricket now. That’s not surprising. Because he already had that ability.’


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