Melbourne (Agencies): Former Australian players beleive the forthcoming World Cup won't be easy for Ricky Ponting's men.

Even though Australia is currently ranked No.1 in ODI's, they feel co-hosts India and Sri Lanka are better-prepared than Australia to exploit the conditions.

"They are certainly up against it," former wicket-keeper Ian Healy said of the team, which is chasing a record fourth ICC CWC trophy.

"It's not our favoured venue for an ICC CWC victory, but it's a frontier that needs to be crossed again from 1987.

"There's some hot competition from Sri Lanka and India, and I'm envisaging a real battle for the other two semi spots," Healy was quoted as saying by the 'Daily Telegraph'.

Healy backed Sri Lanka to clinch the trophy, saying veteran off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, playing in his last tournament, would be a major factor.

"I think they play most of their games at home, it's Murali's last tournament, they've got the spinning covered and they've got batsmen that can cope and play well in those conditions," he said.

"I think Sri Lanka, then India and then maybe a battle between England, South Africa, Australia and maybe Pakistan for the other two spots in the semis," he added.

Former Australian skipper Mark Taylor feels Australia are "good enough to make the semifinals" but beyond that it would be tough for them.

"I think the sides to watch out for are probably India, obviously, and probably Sri Lanka at home," he said.

"Both those sides will be tough to beat, playing on home soil ... South Africa are always dangerous, but I think the real dangers to me are India and Sri Lanka."

Former batsman Michael Slater echoed the views and said getting a grasp over the conditions would be crucial.

"I think there's a lot of teams in the mix but it'll be the sub-continent sides like India and Sri Lanka that will use their conditions very nicely," he said.