According to former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden, the inclusion of Steve Smith in the Australian cricket team offers substantial advantages for their captain, Pat Cummins. As Australia approaches the tournament, they are driven by the goal of asserting their dominance, particularly after their recent 2-1 triumph over India in a bilateral series in 2023.

Despite Pat Cummins’ absence during that series, it was Steve Smith who led Australia to a victory on foreign soil. In a conversation with ESPNcricinfo, Matthew Hayden, a former Australian opening batsman, emphasized that Smith’s presence holds immense potential to boost Pat Cummins’ confidence. Cummins, who is venturing into his maiden ODI World Cup as captain, is likely to benefit from Smith’s guidance and experience.

Smith brings wealth experience with him reckons Hayden

“It’s undoubtedly beneficial. Steve Smith is a significant character in this scenario – you’ve witnessed his visible involvement when Pat (Cummins) is on the field, providing active support as he usually does. Having someone like Steve Smith as a strong ally, with his extensive experience, can only enhance the situation. While I’m not saying it’s a collective captaincy, it’s certainly a solution that Australia has well covered,” Matthew Hayden articulated during his interview with ESPNcricinfo.

As five time World Cup winners, Australia’s objective remains securing their sixth World Cup trophy. Their bid for glory was curtailed in the 2019 edition when they were ousted by eventual winners England in the semifinals. Reflecting on Australia’s chances this time, Hayden noted that Pat Cummins possesses relatively limited captaincy exposure compared to the seasoned Australian captains of World Cup history.

“Considering the past World Cups, Australian leadership has often been led by experienced hands, such as Allan Border’s successful campaign in India in 1987. This historical trend holds significance,” Hayden added.

In preparation for the ODI World Cup, Australia is gearing up for a white-ball series against South Africa. Subsequently, they are scheduled to engage in a three-match ODI series against India in September, just before the World Cup’s commencement. These matches will play a crucial role in fine-tuning Australia’s strategies and performance ahead of the prestigious tournament. Smith and Cummins will be important to Australia’s chances in the upcoming World Cup.

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