Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur terms Australia as genuine contenders for World Cup

Waseem Ahmed 07:50 01/04/2019
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Australia completed a 5-0 whitewash of Pakistan in the UAE.

Having watched Aaron Finch and his men hand his Pakistan team a 5-0 whitewash in the ODI series held in the UAE, coach Mickey Arthur believes Australia are looking in great shape to defend their ICC World Cup crown.

The series defeat meant that it was only the fourth time in history that Pakistan had been blanked 5-0 in ODIs. For Australia, it was their eight consecutive ODI win following their impressive come-from-behind 3-2 series victory in India.

When asked if Australia is capable of winning the 2019 World Cup, Arthur said, “I definitely think they are .”

“There are travelling really well. All the final jigsaw parts are coming together nicely.

“Australia look a very, very good side They will be a threat at the World Cup … I think there’s up to seven teams that can win the World Cup.”

It has been a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Australia after a disastrous 2018 which saw them lose 11 of the their 13 ODIs. Skipper Aaron Finch, who finished as the man of the series for scoring 451 runs, believes his side will go into the World Cup in England with a positive mindset.

Skipper Aaron Finch finished as the man of the series.

Skipper Aaron Finch finished as the man of the series.

“We’ll go to the World Cup with a lot of confidence now, even after a lot of people wrote us off,” said Finch.

“Potentially we had a real focus coming here and that was our last hit-out before the World Cup so we wanted to go into that tournament with a lot of momentum.”

Pakistan, meanwhile, had opted to rest several senior stars for the five-match series including skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and Arthur conceded it was a matter of fatigue.

“All we can do is prepare as best we can. We got on the road in September last year for the Asia Cup and then went to South Africa and then had the Pakistan Super League so we had to rest them,” the Pakistan coach explained.

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