Australia has what it takes to win the 2023 World Cup in India according to one of Australia's greatest ever cricketers Adam Gilchrist.
But Gilchrist, who was in Wollongong on Wednesday fulfilling his UOW Global Brand Ambassador duties, reckons Australia will have to get past India to do so.
The Indians have won all five games on home soil and top the table at the halfway mark of the one-day competition.
Australia on the other hand started their World Cup campaign poorly losing their opening two fixtures to India and South Africa before bouncing back with wins over Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
A win Wednesday night Australian time over the Netherlands will see Pat Cummins' side solidify their spot in the top four after five of their nine round games.
Gilchrist knows what it takes to win the prestigious tournament, having been a vital member of the Australian teams which won World Cup titles in 1999, 2003 and 2007.
The swashbuckling wicket-keeper/batsman said having recovered from a poor start, destiny was now in Australia's hands.
"There's been improvement in every game. I think it's sort of almost like the rust is wearing off and the machine's starting to crank up nicely," he said.
There's been improvement in every game. I think it's sort of almost like the rust is wearing off and the machine's starting to crank up nicely.- Adam Gilchrist
"The way that some of the other results have opened it up really well given the slow start, it's almost like destiny is in their own hands now.
"If they play well, achieve the results that we all expect them to achieve and notwithstanding, there's been a few upsets, hopefully they can find their way into the semis. And then once you're in that knockout stage, it's anyone's title."
It's been a gruelling last 12 to 18 months for Australia's cricketers, especially in the Test arena where they've contested the Ashes, a series against India in India and the World Test Championships.
As such Gilchrist wasn't overly surprised to see an Australian side which looked tired at the start of the World Cup.
"I thought the Aussies looked almost tired at the start of the tournament, which is not ideal, and that might not have been the case, but fortunately there's enough experience there and time for it to almost regenerate itself a little bit," he said.
"it's been a big year for a lot of those cricketers .
"You think about the Ashes, think about the World Test Championship. Prior to that there was a Test tour of India. So it is physically and mentally a gruelling 12 months.
"Now they're at the showcase event and I think it's starting to shape up nicely for them. As I say the rust has fallen off and they should be moving in the right direction."
Gilchrist welcomed the return from injury of Travis Head, stating Australia needed its best players on the park and firing to beat a red-hot India side.
"Whoever wins the World Cup is going to have to beat India at some stage," Gilchrist said.
"India are without doubt the favourites, they're in prime touch playing in home conditions.
"So whether it's in a semi or in a final, you're gonna have to beat India to win it. But when you get to the semis, it''s a knockout, anything's possible.
"If Australia can get to the semis, they're as good a chance as any of winning it.
"But I still have to say India are the favourites."
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