Six teams can win World Cup, says former Australia captain Steve Waugh

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh says the World Cup is ‘wide open’ with up to six teams in the running to win the tournament.

Two-time winners India and six-time semi-finalists New Zealand are the only teams yet to suffer a defeat at the 2019 World Cup.

Host nation England and defending champions Australia have also enjoyed strong starts to the tournament, winning two of their first three games.

Afghanistan are currently bottom of the table without a point, while winless South Africa appear to be heading towards an early exit after their fourth match was abandoned due to rain.

Writing in a column for ICC, Australia legend Waugh said: ‘This World Cup is wide open right now with up to six teams believing they have a chance to lift the trophy at Lord’s.’

India laid down a marker on Sunday with a comfortable victory over Australia at the Oval.

Shikhar Dhawan scored a century and both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma posted fifties as India, after winning the toss and batting, surpassed 350 in front of a raucous crowd.

In reply, David Warner, Steve Smith and Alex Carey all made half-centuries but were unable to prevent Australia from falling 36 runs short.

Waugh, reflecting on the first heavyweight clash of this World Cup, said: ‘India’s victory will provide them with enormous confidence as they move forward in this tournament.

‘It was an important toss to win for India as the Oval pitch had previously been used and was clearly one that slowed down as the match went on.

‘India’s batting display was both measured and calculated with their plan clear and well executed. Their plan is to lay a foundation by not losing wickets and they stuck to it.

‘When they get off to solid opening partnership, as they did against Australia, they then have the luxury of seeing Virat Kohli orchestrate the remainder of the innings.

‘But it’s the innings of Hardik Pandya that will send shivers down opposition spines.

‘This guy might just be the equivalent of Lance Klusener in the 1999 World Cup. He has the ability to begin his innings like most finish with clean hitting that no opposing captain can protect.’

Despite the defeat, Waugh is confident Australia will still progress to the World Cup knockout stages, adding: ‘Aaron Finch’s side won’t be too disappointed.

‘They have time to dissect this loss, fine tune their process, tinker with batting orders and bowling options and manoeuvre things around before the semi-finals come around.’

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