'We have been consistent in the last few ODIs'
The majority of cricket-loving fans and critics may be tipping India as the top favourite to win the World Cup, but Australia are also one of the contenders and are ready to win their fourth title in a row, declared vice-captain Michael Clarke.
"It's been good that we have been consistent in the ODIs for the last few months. It's been pretty good to have beaten a good English side 6-1 at home and we can take a lot of confidence from that result. All the guys are playing good cricket at the moment so we are ready for the challenge," Clarke said in Bangalore, on Saturday.
Image: Michael Clarke
'Our team is in a good place'
Cameron White said the reason India were firm favourites because they had the advantage of playing in their home conditions, while also having a balanced team at their disposal.
"It makes sense that the Indians are up there as favourites -- playing in their own conditions, they've got some very good players, they've got a good balanced attack, couple of very good fast bowlers, some very good spinners. They're a good side, so it makes sense that they're favourites.
"There are other good teams out there as well, that are playing really well. But what we do know is that we're in good form. Our team is in a good place," he said.
Image: Cameron White
'Our four fast bowlers will be key in the tournament'
Meanwhile, Australia who are the only team to win the World Cup four times, will be looking to blast the other teams with their battery of fast bowlers. Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, Doug Bollinger and Mitchell Johnson are capable of bowling in the high 140s (kmph) and troubling the batsmen with their pace even on the slowest of pitches.
"Our four fast bowlers will be key in the tournament. We need to keep them fresh. Then we have guys like John Hastings and Shane Watson who mix things up and can play a major role with their variations. When there is nothing much for the pace bowlers, we have a good spin unit -- two off-spinners, a wrist spinner and from my part a left-arm orthodox.
"So we have covered all the areas that we possibly can. Now, it's all about getting on with our preparation and executing our plans consistently," said Clarke.
Image: Shane Watson
'Quite a few players have the experience of playing in these conditions'
The Australian vice-captain also knows that a few of their players would not be having problems adjusting to the conditions or wickets having toured the country regularly in the last few years for either international cricket or the Indian Premier League.
"The wicket will be quite slow and spin a bit, something similar to what had seen in the West Indies in the last World Cup. One of the good things about playing the sub-continent is that quite a few guys have the experience of playing in these conditions through IPL and Champions League. So, I am sure every individual and every team have been prepared for this event. As for us, there are differences in our squad from the one in 2007, but we have been in good form of late and we can take a lot of confidence from the way we played in ODIs throughout the summer," he said.
Image: Australian cricket team
'Important to get a good start and build through that middle period'
Clarke also believes that the Australian batting line-up is capable of chasing a huge target under lights, given the number of big-hitters in their team.
"We have Cameron White, Dave and Steve Smith in the middle-order who have shown in the One-Dayers and T20s that they have the power game to clear the boundaries. Yeah, with how fast the outfields are these days, it's quite possible to chase targets at eight an over in these conditions. So, it's important to get a good start and build through that middle period. Hopefully, we can do that, keep some wickets upfront and give those boys down the order to play the way they love to," he said.
Image: Steven Smith