Steve Harmison believes England have as good a chance as any other team in their quest to achieve World Cup success in Australia.
And the ex-England and Durham fast bowler has cited England’s promising current crop of bowlers as the ones who will be able to make the difference.
Speaking at the launch of the Royal London sponsorship launch with the PCA Benevolent Fund Harmison said: "I'm happy with the preparations that have been put in place.
"The team management have taken pains to make sure that the lads spend a good length of time bedding in and getting used to being around each other.
"It will help create squad harmony and hopefully forge a bond that will prove difficult to break during the heat of battle at the World Cup.
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World Cup chances
"Sure, the England team prospects for the World Cup have been dismissed within many quarters but let's look at this way. South Africa, India and Australia are clear favourites but if teams like England can make it through to the knockout stages then anything is possible.
“Luck can also be a big factor during knock out games so you can't rule out anything. The bottom line is a weaker team may play out of their skins and raise their standards for a one off game.
"Their opponents may suffer a day off and this could combine to produce shock results that are not in line with the general form book. That's just cricket for you.
“I feel that a quarter final or a semi spot would be a good achievement for England to build on.”
It’s almost ten years since Harmison and the marauding attack unit of Andrew Flintoff, Ashley Giles, Simon Jones and Mathhew Hoggard were unleashed on the Australians during the 2005 Ashes.
Harmison believes the “phenomenal” Ben Stokes and Steve Finn can be the difference. England are now in Sri Lanka and with James Anderson and Stuart Broad injured it will be Finn who will lead the attack.
“I feel these two could easily be a part of an attack that could outshine our famous five from 2005,” he said.
“Finn has returned from injury and needs to go out there and just bowl. With injuries to Stuart Broad and James Anderson he will be the senior bowler on show.
"For me, if he is fit, firing and bowling well, he is a key player for England. I believe if they’re all bowling well – Anderson, Broad, Finn, Stokes, Moeen – that’s as good as 2005. I really do.
“I think Finn is the key because somebody who can bowl over 90 mph and make the ball bounce on any given surface and be aggressive, that makes the job easier for the rest.”
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