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Australia Cricket Team News - ICC Cricket World Cup 2007

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Australian fears Sri Lanka, South Africa, Pakistan and New Zealand

Batsman Mike Hussey believes four teams will be the main threats to Australia when they defend their World Cup title in the West Indies.
"I think the South Africans are obviously a very, very well drilled unit, Sri Lanka I think are going to be very dangerous, Pakistan on their day are dangerous and the Kiwis have shown that theyve been playing some pretty consistent one-day cricket as well," Hussey told reporters yesterday. Australia remain favourites to win the World Cup for an unprecedented third straight time, but their odds have eased following the 2-0 home tri-series finals loss to England and the 3-0 Chappell-Hadlee Trophy rout in New Zealand. They have also been hit by an injury crisis, which has ruled pace bowler Brett Lee out of the tournament. Key all-rounder Andrew Symonds is likely to miss the opening matches as he recovers from bicep surgery.
But Hussey, who took his record as captain of Australia to 0-5 with the series loss in New Zealand, said the world champions were at their best when they had been written off. "Theres pressure in international cricket, its the World Cup, theres going to be pressure on everyone, were looking forward to it," he said. "I think the Australian team in general thrives on pressure and so I think the best of the Australian team will come out." Australia open their World Cup campaign against Scotland in St Kitts on March 14.

Australia team to beat at World Cup : Imran Khan

Pakistan cricket great Imran Khan picks Australia to win the World Cup.
Imran, who ended his career leading Pakistan to World Cup glory in 1992, said Ricky Ponting's Australia should win its third successive World Cup. "Australians are favourites to win the World Cup, although they will miss their match-winner Brett Lee. But Ricky Ponting's side is still very strong in every department," Imran said while attending a business conference Monday. "Australians have this winning habit, which is hard to break for other teams. They may have lost the recent one-day series at home and in New Zealand, but they are still very difficult to demoralize as a team." He said fast bowler Lee will be missed.
"It is not easy to find a replacement for a bowler like Lee. He is a genuine match-winner for Australia," he said. Neither was he ruling out Pakistan's chances. "Pakistan and India are also good sides with a lot of good players. But in Pakistan's case, it will all depend if Pakistan pace bowlers (Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asif) are going to the World Cup," he said. "If they are, then Pakistan also stand a chance to win." Akhtar and Asif were carrying injuries.
Imran introduced Inzamam-ul-Haq to international cricket in 1991 and said the Pakistan captain must bat higher for the team to do have a better shot during the World Cup. "You can't lead a team if you are batting at five or six," Imran said. "You must lead from the front for the team to do well. Inzy is not doing that now. You can't inspire the team to fight if you bat so low."

Brett Lee ruled out of ICC World Cup

Australian paceman Brett Lee has been ruled out of 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.
On Friday, Andrew Hilditch, Chairman of Australia's National Selection Panel, informed that Lee's ankle injury is more serious than first expected and that the team's medical staff has advised that he will be unavailable for the World Cup. Lee suffered the injury during a practice session before the Chappell-Hadlee series against New Zealand. The Australian Cricket Board is currently seeking approval for Stuart Clark to be named Lee's replacement.

Australian squad announced for Cricket World Cup

Victorian all-rounder Cameron White has been axed from the Australian one-day cricket squad to contest next month's World Cup.
The young Victorian was forced to make way for New South Wales wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin who was selected as a back-up to Adam Gilchrist. In the other selection surprise South Australian paceman Shaun Tait claimed the final fast-bowling spot in Australia's 15-man World Cup squad.
New South Wales speedster Stuart Clark, who appeared in the preliminary rounds of the recent one-day series against England and New Zealand, has also missed out. All-rounder superstar Andrew Symonds was selected despite carrying a serious arm injury which could prevent him from playing any role in the campaign. Ricky Ponting will captain the Australian team as they seek to be the first nation to win the World Cup three times in a row. Australia World Cup squad: Ricky Ponting (Captain), Adam Gilchrist (Wicket Keeper), Nathan Bracken, Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin (Wicket Keeper), Matthew Hayden, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, Andrew Symonds, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson.

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ICC Cricket World Cup 2007

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All World Cup Cricket matches in West Indies start at 09:30 local time (14:30GMT). The first match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 will be played on March 13, 2007 at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, between the host West Indies and Pakistan.

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Editor: Nishanth Gopinathan.