Aussies Will Be A World Cup Threat: Arthur
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has declared Australia will be a threat at the World Cup, having watched them steamroll his team 5-0 in an ODI series.
Arthur, who coached Australia from 2011 until 2013, was thoroughly impressed with how clinical some of his former charges were during the past fortnight.
"I definitely think they are (capable of winning the World Cup). They're travelling really well," Arthur said.
"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."
Pakistan rested six stars, including captain Sarfraz Ahmed, from the entire series but Australia's XI is also likely to look different at the 50-over tournament.
Pat Cummins was wrapped in cotton wool for four of five games against Pakistan, while Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood all remain confident about their chances of taking part in Australia's World Cup defence.
"You get Warner and Smith back, you put Starc and Cummins back into that line-up.
It's pretty formidable," Arthur said.
Usman Khawaja, one of four players who Arthur decided to send home from a 2013 tour of India during the 'homeworkgate' saga, top-scored with 98 on Sunday as he continued an impressive run of form.
"He always was a class player," Arthur said.
"He seems to have taken this game to the next level.
He's among the top batsmen in the world cricket now.
"That's not surprising. Because he already had that ability."
Khawaja, who was badly affected by dehydration towards the end of his innings, wikipedia1.org also earned plenty of praise from opening partner Aaron Finch.
"He hit everything in the middle ... that was a brilliant innings," Finch said.
"I was disappointed he didn't get a hundred because he really did deserve it with the series that he's had."
Arthur, who has copped stinging criticism from pace icon Shoaib Akhtar and other pundits in his homeland during the past week, insisted Pakistan had no option but to leave Ahmed and others back home because of their busy schedule in recent months.