Pat Cummins is the kind of bowler who can win Australia the World Cup, according to former Aussie pace spearhead Brett Lee.
Playing in his first full World Cup after playing just two matches in 2015, Cummins started in fine style against Afghanistan.
He took a wicket off his third ball bowled in Australia's seven-wicket win, and finished with figures of 3-40.
The 26-year-old has arguably been the best bowler in one-day cricket this year, having taken 20 wickets in just seven games.
His average of 14.15 is the lowest of any bowler to have claimed more than 10 scalps, while his strike-rate has him ranked second.
It follows a dream summer with the red ball, where the right-arm quick was easily Australia's best bowler and became the sport's most marketable star.
"Someone like a Pat Cummins is a natural born leader and he has to lead from the front," Lee told AAP.
"Batsmen can win you a game but bowlers can win you the tournament. Someone like a Pat Cummins for me can definitely win you a tournament.
"I think he's ready, he's fit, he looks healthy and he doesn't get stressed out about a lot of things. He knows his game. And he can bat as well."
Cummins' and Australia's first notable challenge of the World Cup awaits on Thursday at Trent Bridge, where he and Mitchell Starc will be charged with stopping dangerous West Indies opener Chris Gayle.
But if Cummins goes on to fulfil Lee's prophecy this year, he will be following in that same man's footsteps from 16 years ago.
Always one of the game's most dangerous bowlers, it was in the 2003 World Cup in Africa where Lee was most devastating.
He took 22 wickets in 10 matches, starring in arguably his best month of cricket as Australia won their second straight title.
"I just hope Pat really enjoys this moment," Lee said.
"As I did in 2003. We just had a really good side and everyone believed in each other."
Australian Associated Press