Cricket World Cup Team Preview: Aussies to blood young bowlers
Number of previous appearances: 10
Last appearance: 2011
Best finish: Champions (1987, 1999, 2003, 2007)
2014 ODI record: Played 18, Won 13, Lost 5
First 3 fixtures: England, Bangladesh, New Zealand
Coach: Darren Lehmann
Squad: George Bailey, Michael Clarke (capt), Patrick Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin (wk), Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson.
Top runscorer: Steven Smith. The recently appointed future captain has been the pillar of Australian batting in all forms of the game for the past 18 months. His weight of runs and improved match-winning mentality put him on a pedestal well out of reach from the rest of the squad.
Top wicket taker: Mitchell Johnson. While the batting unit looks as sturdy as a Rahul Dravid forward defence, their bowling unit is a combination of poor form and inexperience. The Aussies need Johnson, currently suffering from a hamstring injury, to take the World Cup by the horns as if it were last winter’s Ashes.
Magic man: Glenn Maxwell. The man nicknamed “The Big Show” can be brilliant and infuriating in equal measures, but is more than capable of swinging a game in Australia’s favour either with his enterprising batting, tempting offspin or athletic fielding. The below three videos, a blistering ODI 93, a bemusing first-ball dismissal in the ongoing Big Bash T20 league and a jaw-dropping boundary save sum up his style.
Pre-tournament storyline: While the green tinge that spreads across the squad’s bowling options is a cause for concern, it’s the fitness battle Michael Clarke is currently embroiled in that is the major worry. The skipper will miss the entire warm-up schedule in his bid to recover from hamstring surgery, but will be replaced in the squad should he fail to take the field by the side’s second Pool A match, according to Cricket Australia.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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