Steve Waugh England World Cup 2019
Steve Waugh © Getty Images (file photo)

In an interview with Waugh backed England as favourites for the 2019 World Cup: “I think that’s great if you’ve got confidence and belief, and that’s what they’ve got right now. The only thing, I guess, against England right now is that opposition will be studying the way they’re playing. They’ll be analysing every moment so they’ll have much better game plans against England going forward. That will be their challenge, how to stay that one step in front.

“Everything’s in their favour. You always say you want to peak and get momentum into a tournament, but there’s nothing wrong with having momentum in the first game either.”

In fact, Waugh went a step ahead, announcing that he like to lead England! “If I was in their shoes, if you asked me which [team] I’d like to be captaining right now, I’d like to be captaining the England one-day side. Because they’re playing a great brand of cricket, they’re a very together side, I can’t see the make-up of the team changing much and they’re playing at home.”

Waugh knows a thing or two about winning World Cups, as leader and otherwise. He was a part of Allan Border’s 1987 World Cup winning side. Twelve years later, he led Australia to their second title. He and Tom Moody were the only common members of both sides. He was also part of the 1996 runners-up team.

However, Waugh insists that all is not over for Australia despite the recent 0-5 whitewash on English soil: “Even if it’s not your best side, there’s still seven or eight players there who are going to be in your best team and they’ve lost a lot of cricket. That’s going to take a while to turn around. So going into next year’s World Cup, our preparation is going to be disjointed. We are definitely not going to be one of the favourites going there.

“It’s not to say we still can’t win it, but we have to find form and we have to find a combination that clicks in what’s probably going to be a short space of time.”