The return of Smith and Warner have fortified their batting. Warner was in exemplary touch for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2019 and emerged the highest run-getter in the tournament with well over 600 runs. It will be a huge comforting factor for Australia. On the other hand, Smith did not set the IPL ablaze but dropped enough hints of his readiness for the World Cup and even led Rajasthan Royals for a short while after replacing Ajinkya Rahane. And they have a very good set of bowlers in Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Adam Zampa too who can excel in England. That run against India (3-2) and Pakistan (5-0 in UAE) might have given them oodles of confidence too.
Australia will sure depend on Warner and Smith for big runs and the form of their captain Aaron Finch is anything but inspiring. Glenn Maxwell, Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh are capable hands but will have to show a lot more consistency to support the two premier batsmen. Australia will be looking precisely for that.
3. Key Man 1: David Warner
Warner will have to reproduce that IPL form for Australia in the Old Blighty. The year-long absence did not slow down him in the IPL but the World Cup and the 50-over format is a different ball game and Warner will have to bat long to keep the defending champions in the game.
4. Key Man 2: Pat Cummins
Cummins has been immense for Australia throughout the summer with ball and bat across the formats. He bowled with passion and fire and batted with spunk. Australia will be hoping for Cummins to come up with a special effort in the quadrennial big bash and it is no exaggeration to think that their progress can be directly linked with his form.
They are not the best shape. Australia don't have the firepower to match England and India have a better all-round team. But the World Cup can bring the best out of Aussies and a last four stage appearance looks par for the course for the Justin Langer-coached side.