Melbourne, Feb 13: Former captain Steve Waugh has cautioned Australia against expecting Steve Smith's endless summer of run-scoring to continue during the upcoming ICC World Cup.
Smith has enjoyed a record-breaking season with the bat, scoring four centuries in four Tests against India and also reaching three figures twice in the one-day internationals in the past six months. (List of commentators)
His man-of-the-series performance against India lifted his Test average for the past 12 months to 86.57, while he's averaged 57.53 since he returned to the ODI side in August.
All this despite carrying the added burden of the captaincy for most of the summer - he registered scores of 133, 28, 192, 14, 117, 71 and 102 not out.
But Waugh has warned that Smith's incredible form won't last forever.
"He has had an exceptional start and you have to remember that sport is ups and downs," Waugh told News Corp.
"You will not always be scoring runs or winning as a captain. We don't want to be too carried away with what he has been doing but he's led with incredible maturity for a young guy."
Waugh said Australia are rightly one of the favourites for the six-week tournament, which gets underway Saturday.
The two-time World Cup winner said Australia's depth of fast-bowling strike power gives them an edge over other teams in the tournament and could lead them to a record fifth world title.
Australia's 15-man squad includes four frontline quicks - Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins - along with seam bowling allrounders Mitchell Marsh, James Faulkner and Shane Watson.
Waugh said this gives the Aussies a distinct advantage.
"If someone like David Warner hits a purple patch he could win the World Cup by himself," said Waugh.
"We have a fantastic stable of bowlers with the amount of quicks around and when you have match-winning bowlers you are going to win a lot of games. We are in pretty good shape. There's no reason why we can't win this World Cup."