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Australia to win World Cup: Fletcher

By Sam Lienert 27/01/2003 05:34:16 AM Comments (0)

Australia was the red-hot World Cup favourite but co-host South Africa was a major threat and Pakistan a potential wildcard, England cricket coach Duncan Fletcher said.

Fletcher also said England's form had improved steadily on its Australian tour, several players were coming back from injury, and his team was capable of giving the top sides a "fright" on its day.

"Australia must be favourite," Fletcher said of the side that beat England for the 13th consecutive time in one day internationals in the second tri-series final at the MCG.

"But I think South Africa have proven they are pretty good at it over the last few years.

"They were pretty unsettled about nine months ago, but they've settled down now.

"And you should never forget sides like Pakistan, they are a very dangerous side.

"One day cricket, it's just on the day if one guy puts in a really good performance, you saw what Sri Lanka did to Australia the other day, they came to the party with a couple of their world class players. No-one's an easy pushover I don't think."

Fletcher said England's failure to beat Australia in a one day international this season would not play on its mind when they meet again in the World Cup.

"It's a concern that we didn't win one, but at the end of the day (Australia) is a really red-hot team at the moment, they go in as hot-shot favourites for the World Cup," he said.

"In three out of the last four we've given them a good run for their money.

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