ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Steve Smith, David Warner will need to have 'thick skin' to counter England's sledging, says Brett Lee

Steve Smith and David Warner will need to have 'thick skin' to counter sledging and hostile crowd in the World Cup, said former Australia pacer Brett Lee.

Press Trust of India, May 30, 2019 14:59:45 IST

London: Steve Smith and David Warner have nothing to prove but the duo will need to have "thick skin" to counter sledging and hostile crowd in the World Cup, said former Australia pacer Brett Lee.

Smith and Warner, who are returning after serving suspensions for their involvement in the infamous ball-tampering episode in South Africa in 2018, have already witnessed hostile crowd during Australia's two World Cup warm-up games.

Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup Warm-Up Match - England v Australia - The Ageas Bowl, Southampton, Britain - May 25, 2019 Australia's Steve Smith walks off after being dismissed Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra - RC1FC4844F40

File image of Australia's Steve Smith. Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

"I don't think they have got a point to prove, they will just be happy to be back playing for Australia," Lee said.

"We saw what happened with David Warner during the IPL, the leading run scorer and the Orange Cap holder, Steven Smith got a big hundred in his first game. They have been welcomed back to the Australian cricket team with open arms and I reckon they have a shot at winning.

"(But) you have got the Barmy Army, you have got guys like Kevin Pietersen chirping at me already. They are going to cop some sledging but you need thick skin," he added.

Lee said Australia are peaking just at the right time and Aaron Finch's men have it in them to win the title for the sixth time.

"We need a couple of good games back-to-back, it will be phenomenal if Australia can win a sixth title, I know what it means to win a World Cup and it is the best feeling in the world," Lee said at the official tournament opening ceremony here on Wednesday.

"I think they can (win it), I am quietly confident with the Aussies, they have got a great team, a great squad, they tick every box, they bowl pretty well at the death and they field pretty well. I would never back against the Aussies, put it that way.

"It's also about peaking at the right time when you go into a World Cup. I think Australia are doing that, although we haven't played a lot of great cricket back-to-back in the last 12 months."

Australia will open their campaign against Afghanistan at Bristol on June 1.

For all the latest news, opinions and analysis from ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, click here

Updated Date: May 30, 2019 14:59:45 IST


World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
Australia 5 4 1 0 8
New Zealand 4 3 0 1 7
India 4 3 0 1 7
England 4 3 1 0 6
Sri Lanka 5 1 2 2 4
West Indies 4 1 2 1 3
South Africa 5 1 3 1 3
Bangladesh 4 1 2 1 3
Pakistan 5 1 3 1 3
Afghanistan 4 0 4 0 0





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
6 Pakistan 4107 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254