Parallels between 1999 and the now for Aussie World Cup side
Pat Cummins’ side has won their last four games after making a slow start to the tournament with heavy losses to India and South Africa, mirroring the 1999 group which lost to New Zealand and Pakistan inside the first three games before going on to win the Cup.
Australian cricket legend Adam Gilchrist says he can see parallels between the current team’s Cricket World Cup campaign and the successful 1999 tournament.
Gilchrist told Sports Breakfast he gave the team as good a chance as any behind host nation India.
“Once you get through to the knockout stages, anything’s possible,” Gilchrist said.
“India are still the number one seed and they’re the favourites and in all likelihood should get the trophy at the end of the day, but anything can happen once you get to that semi final.
“Pressure can do funny things. Australia have got some experienced campaigners there and they’re building nicely for it. They’re a better chance than what we thought after the first week.”
The Australian camp has been struck by a unorthodox injury on the eve of their clash against England, with star allrounder Glenn Maxwell ruled out due to a concussion suffered after he fell off a golf cart.
Gilchrist said he found the incident bizarre, but finding time to relax in the midst of a months-long tour was critical.
“Golf’s becoming a health hazard for teams, isn’t it?” he joked.
“The Aussie team, I think it was about week between games, so it makes sense to have a couple of days off and freshen up.
“Most people that play cricket love their golf and that’s the way these guys have decided to relax. I don’t think you can read much more into it.”
Closer to home, the WA legend said the state’s current side was stronger than the late-90s powerhouse he was a part of.
“[In terms of] trophies, they’ve surpassed anything we achieved,” he said.
“They’ve managed to keep a core group together and … created an environment that everyone wants to be a part of.
“It doesn’t matter who misses out in any format of the game, someone else is there and ready to jump in. They do that so well.”
Australia take on England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday, with the game getting underway at 4:30pm WA time.
News broke this morning that WA allrounder Mitch Marsh has flown home due to personal reasons.
IMAGE: ESPN Cricinfo