Australia, having won 4 of last 5 World Cups, look to add another feather to their cap in England

Both Steven Smith and David Warner would be looking at the marquee event as a chance for redemption and would want to guide their team to a sixth World Cup title.

World Cup 2019, Australia, Afghanistan, Steve Smith, David Warner
David Warner with teammates. (File Photo/Reuters)

Australia come in to the World Cup on the back of consecutive series wins against India and Pakistan. Australia haven’t lost a game in their last eight one-day internationals and would look to continue their streak as they take on Afghanistan in their opener at the World Cup.

Australia have a lethal opening pair in Aaron Finch and David Warner. Warner, who finished as the top run-scorer at the recently concluded Indian Premier League, is making a comeback to international cricket after a year-long ban for involvement in a ball-tampering incident. Steve Smith, who was also banned for a year, is in a rich vein of form too. Smith scored a century (116 off 102 balls) in the warm up match against England on Saturday. He was also composed despite the crowd booing him throughout the innings. Both Smith and Warner would be looking at the marquee event as a chance for redemption and would want to guide their team to a sixth World Cup title.

The batting unit also boasts of the likes of Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and the explosive Alex Carey. Skipper Aaron Finch has regained his form that had deserted him in 2018. Finch was also part of Australia’s winning team that lifted the World Cup in 2015.

Read | England are favourites but India, Australia too are serious contenders: Glenn McGrath

The pitches in England are considered to favour the bowlers and the Australian bowling attack has enough in their arsenal to make use of the conditions. Mitchell Starc, who was adjudged player of the tournament in 2015 edition of the World Cup, is ready to unleash his swinging yorker. Pat Cummins possesses raw pace that can trouble even the best batsmen. His accuracy and command over the ball make him even more dangerous. The other pacers in the Australia squad are- Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson. Jason Behrendorff was brilliant with the new ball and caused great discomfort to the batsmen with his swing in the warm up match against England.

Leg spinner Adam Zampa has been the first-choice spinner for Australia in ODIs since 2018. He has picked 60 wickets in 44 matches at an average of 35.45. Nathan Lyon is another spin alternative for the Kangaroos if the need arises in English conditions.

Australia is at the fifth spot in the ICC ODI world rankings. But the side has won four of the last five World Cup trophies. The challenge for captain Finch would be using his card at the right time and right place. With the pack of players he has at his disposal, the Aussies are favourites to make it to the semi-finals

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