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ICC World Cup: Team analysis: Australia: Don't write off the champions!

Australia cannot be taken lightly in a World Cup

Bengaluru, May 21: Australia in the ICC World Cup are a bit like Brazil in the FIFA World Cup - perennial favourite. And like the Celecao, the Aussies are five-time world champions (1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015) and if you want to further stretch the analogy both the teams wear jerseys with plentiful dash of yellow.

Coming back to that favourite part, Australia have gone through a massive turmoil in the last year or so. They were hit by sandpaper gate at Cape Town leading to the year-long absence of Steve Smith and David Warner and then went through a losing streak in ODIs. But they showed their readiness for the big stage with a series win over India at the latter's home and it will be unwise to write them off. Here's MyKhel team analysis of Australia.

1. Strength

1. Strength

The return of Smith and Warner have fortified their batting. Warner was in exemplary touch for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2019 and emerged the highest run-getter in the tournament with well over 600 runs. It will be a huge comforting factor for Australia. On the other hand, Smith did not set the IPL ablaze but dropped enough hints of his readiness for the World Cup and even led Rajasthan Royals for a short while after replacing Ajinkya Rahane. And they have a very good set of bowlers in Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Adam Zampa too who can excel in England. That run against India (3-2) and Pakistan (5-0 in UAE) might have given them oodles of confidence too.

2. Weakness

2. Weakness

Australia will sure depend on Warner and Smith for big runs and the form of their captain Aaron Finch is anything but inspiring. Glenn Maxwell, Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh are capable hands but will have to show a lot more consistency to support the two premier batsmen. Australia will be looking precisely for that.

3. Key Man 1: David Warner

3. Key Man 1: David Warner

Warner will have to reproduce that IPL form for Australia in the Old Blighty. The year-long absence did not slow down him in the IPL but the World Cup and the 50-over format is a different ball game and Warner will have to bat long to keep the defending champions in the game.

4. Key Man 2: Pat Cummins

4. Key Man 2: Pat Cummins

Cummins has been immense for Australia throughout the summer with ball and bat across the formats. He bowled with passion and fire and batted with spunk. Australia will be hoping for Cummins to come up with a special effort in the quadrennial big bash and it is no exaggeration to think that their progress can be directly linked with his form.

5. Prediction

5. Prediction

They are not the best shape. Australia don't have the firepower to match England and India have a better all-round team. But the World Cup can bring the best out of Aussies and a last four stage appearance looks par for the course for the Justin Langer-coached side.

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Story first published: Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 11:38 [IST]
Other articles published on May 21, 2019
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