The ICC Cricket World Cup is among the world’s biggest tournaments. Australia is the most successful team in ODI World Cups, winning the event five times – 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2015.
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ODI World Cup & Australia
You may win the T20 World Cup, but a win in the 50-over World Cup means you have earned the respect of the fans. Although ODI cricket has remained a dying business since the advent of T20 matches, it has survived long enough after coming into existence in the 70s.
No team has dominated the ODI World Cup like Australia. Australia has been the superior side since their first title in 1987. Apart from the Kangaroos, only Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, and England won the coveted trophy during the 1987-2019 period.
We will summarise Australia’s five World Cup-winning campaigns.
Australia World Cup: Five Successful Campaigns
Australia has won the ODI World Cup title under the captaincy of Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, and Michael Clarke. We recap all five of their successful ODI World Cup campaigns.
● 1987 World Cup:
Right from the word go, Australia looked like a team possessed. The Allan Border-led side played eight games, winning seven of them. Australia’s lone defeat in the tournament came against India in New Delhi, but this was an aberration.
Australia began its 1987 World Cup campaign with a one-run win over India in Chennai and followed this up with a massive 96-run win over Zimbabwe. In their third game, Australia edged New Zealand by a run. In the reverse fixture against India, Australia lost by 56 runs.
After this point, Border and his men never looked back, notching up four wins on the trot. The journey culminated with a win over England in the final.
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● 1999 World Cup:
Australia played some close games in the campaign. The most thrilling was the close semi-final match against South Africa which went to the final over. The team from Down Under had lost some games in the initial stages of the tournament – against Pakistan and New Zealand.
Australia played some close games in the campaign. The most thrilling was the close semi-final match against South Africa which went to the final. The team from Down Under had lost some games in the initial stages of the tournament – against Pakistan and New Zealand.
However, Australia bounced back well and never let go of the momentum as the business end approached. In the final, Shane Warner’s four-wicket haul and a quickfire half-century from Adam Gilchrist saw Australia thrash Pakistan by eight wickets at Lord’s.
● 2003 World Cup:
The golden generation peaked with 28-year-old Ricky Ponting being given the charge of the national team. And boy, didn’t they deliver? Ponting and his team remained unbeaten throughout the tournament in what could be one of the finest campaigns. They would beat India in the final by 125 runs.
In the Super Six stage, Australia faced challenges from efficient teams like New Zealand, Pakistan, and England. Australia was without Shane Warne, who was ruled out just before the World Cup, and yet Ponting and his men never lost hold of the situation.
The skipper led from the front, scoring 415 runs in ten matches, while speedster Brett Lee took 22 wickets.
● 2007 World Cup:
If 2003 was a challenge, 2007 was a cakewalk. It was another unbeaten campaign for Ponting and his men. The skipper had grown in confidence in the last four years and was firing on all cylinders. When it came to the team, they were firing in unison as well.
Australia played 11 matches and would go on to win all of them without breaking a sweat. The defending champions started the campaign with a 203-run win against Scotland. It was followed by another massive hammering against the Netherlands by 229 runs. The juggernaut didn’t stop as they went on to beat teams like South Africa and West Indies by a margin of 83 and 103 runs, respectively.
In the 2003 World Cup, Australia encountered some close games, but they clinched victories by massive margins in 2007. They marched into the finals and beat Sri Lanka in a ridiculous final which witnessed plenty of controversies. Ponting had another crown, and Australia now had their fourth title. Ricky Ponting bettered his record by scoring 539 runs, while Matthew Hayden was the tournament’s top scorer with 659 runs with an astounding average of 73.
Australia’s Results in 2007 World Cup
● 2015 World Cup:
Eight years later, under new skipper Michael Clarke, Australia would lift their fifth World Cup title. In 2011, Australia failed to beat India in the quarter-finals and couldn’t complete the fourth World Cup title on the trot. But under Clarke, Australia took full advantage of the home conditions. Meanwhile, they also found a fresh crop of players like Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, Shane Watson, etc. These players ensured that the Kangaroos went all the way.
Clarke and his men would lose just one match in the entire tournament. They beat India in the semi-final by 95 runs. Eventually, they eased past New Zealand in the final by seven wickets to lift the trophy in front of the capacity home crowd.
Australia is one of the best in business in ODI cricket. However, they failed to capitalize on some great talent over the years. Some of their players from the class of 2015 were not consistent, and the team paid the price in the 2019 edition when the eventual champions England side beat them in the semi-finals. This time around, they would like to make the most of the Indian conditions as some of them are familiar with it thanks to the IPL.