2019 Cricket World Cup Preview: Australia
Photo: Getty Images

2019 Cricket World Cup Preview: Australia

ODIs have been tough for Australia, but having found form at the perfect time, are they challenging for the title this time around?

tom_simmonds
Tom Simmonds

Squad List

Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Australia are coming to this World Cup in the hunt for what would be an incredible 6th World Cup win but with the team ranked fifth in the world currently, can they push on to lift the trophy?

After the 2017 Champions Trophy, Australia's ODI form tanked with the team struggling to challenge anyone as they slumped to 18 defeats out of 22 one day internationals.

However Australia can never be written off in big tournaments and with recent series victories over India and Pakistan as well as defeating the much fancied England in a warm-up game, it looks as though Australia may just be finding their form at the perfect time. 

Gun Batter - David Warner

Australia have a very fair claim to have one of the most explosive opening partnerships in world cricket at the moment with Warner and Aaron Finch leading the way. The pair have the power to take apart almost all bowling attacks but it's Warner who is the true standout of the pair.

If Warner has reintegrated into the team as well as Australia hoped then this could be a long tournament for those bowling against the Australians.  Warner's career ODI average of 43.43 at nearly a run a ball certainly puts him in the upper echelons of current white ball batsmen.

However, he has struggled in England with his ODI average dropping to 31 in the 10 games he's played on English shores. 

Warner does come into the World Cup in great form though, an unlikely partnership was formed with Jonny Bairstow in the IPL with Warner scoring 692 runs from just 12 innings.

Bowling supremo - Mitchell Starc

Their opening batting pair are explosive but their opening bowling pair are just as capable of producing fireworks. The pair are two of the fastest bowlers in the competition and unless played sensibly are more than capable of decimating a team's top order. 

Whilst Pat Cummins has been the in-form bowler of late, Starc's left arm angle can provide something different. His capability to nail the yorker at pace can take away some of even the most inventive batsman's effectiveness. 

Despite recent injury issues, Starc looks to be back at full fitness and if he lives up to his career statistics of averaging a wicket every 21.44 runs and receives the back up from the rest of the bowling unit then it could be a very productive World Cup for Australia.

Star Man - Glenn Maxwell

If the phrase "X-Factor cricketer" was made for anyone then it's for Glenn Maxwell. The all-rounder tends to produce when it matters, capable of producing the unexpected whenever it's needed.

A common criticism of Australia's batting line-up is that it features too many anchors and not enough power players and that is where Maxwell comes in. With Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh all typically scoring at less than a run a ball, the big, unorthodox shots of Glenn Maxwell will be needed to propel Australia to the big scores that are probably going to be needed to seal success in this tournament. 

His ability in the field combined with his tricky off-spin can make him the three-dimensional weapon that Australia need to drive them to World Cup success. 

One to watch - Adam Zampa

It's been a case of feast or famine so far for Adam Zampa. The leg-spinner ended 2016 as the highest ODI wicket-taker in the world but he soon lost his form and was often found on the fringes of Australia's ODI squad. 

He missed Australia's last tour of England and found himself playing club cricket for Brentwood in Essex, a leading role in their T20 Blast campaign got him back in contention for a World Cup pick before 18 wickets in his last 10 games cemented his place in the final 15.

Zampa's ability to turn the ball both ways is going to make it likely that he will be the man Finch turns to get him wickets and if Zampa fires himself into his best form then he can play a starring role this summer.

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