DOHA: Pakistan cricket great Imran Khan picked Australia to win the World Cup starting in two weeks in the Caribbean.

Imran, who ended his career leading Pakistan to World Cup glory in 1992, said Ricky Ponting's Australia should win its third successive World Cup.

``The Australians are favourites to win the World Cup, although they will miss Brett Lee. But Ricky Ponting's side is still very strong in every department,'' Imran said while attending a business conference here on Monday.

``Australians have this winning habit which is hard to break for other teams. They may have lost the recent one-day series at home and in New Zealand, but they are still very difficult to demoralise as a team.''

He said fast bowler Lee will be missed. ``It is not easy to find a replacement for a bowler like Lee. He is a genuine match-winner for Australia,'' he said.

Neither was he ruling out Pakistan's chances.

``Pakistan and India are also good sides with a lot of good players. But in Pakistan's case, it will all depend if Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asif are going to the World Cup,'' he said. ``If they are, then Pakistan also stands a chance to win.''

Imran added that Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq must bat higher for the team to have a better shot during the World Cup. ``You can't lead a team if you are batting at five or six,'' Imran said.

``You must lead from the front for the team to do well. Inzy is not doing that now. You can't inspire the team to fight if you bat so low.'' AP

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