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Don't take your eye off England in Cup: Langer

Cricket

Justin Langer has rebuffed Australia’s new-found favouritism at the World Cup, throwing the pressure back on hosts England as the team to watch in the tournament.

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Australia’s win over their arch-enemy on Tuesday shot them to favourites to defend their crown, with India also looming large.

It signifies a drastic turnaround in Australia’s form, given they were ranked No.6 in the world earlier this year and were considered long odds to even make the finals.

On the other hand England are now at significant risk of missing the top four.

They sit one point clear of Pakistan and Bangladesh in fourth but with games against India and New Zealand to come.

“We beat England the other day but I still think that they are the favourites. And India (too)” Australia’s coach said.

“They (England) are a very, very good cricket team. Trust me every team in the world knows that.

“Obviously there’s some pressure now for them to get into the (finals). Their record over the last four years shows us that (they’re a good team).

“We’re all very wary and watching very closely what happens the last two games with England.”

Externally at least, the pressure is mounting on England.

Local papers on Thursday continued questioning where it had all gone wrong as their Cup campaign had been turned upside down.

Pakistan and Bangladesh are just one point behind them in waiting, with the two teams from Asia to meet

Saturday’s trans-Tasman clash now also shapes as a crucial clash for New Zealand at Lord’s, following Wednesday’s loss to Pakistan.

They still require one more win to guarantee their spot in the finals, after they’d gone undefeated through their first six games including a washout with India.

“New Zealand have been playing some pretty good cricket,” Langer said.

“Pakistan are always the dark horse, aren’t they? They are brilliantly inconsistent. They are brilliantly talented.

“Sri Lanka are the same. So who knows?

“We know we are going to be in the semi-final so we are going to be a favourite to be one of the semi-finalists, I reckon.”

-AAP

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