Team Australia for ICC World Cup 2011
Defending champions, Australia are arguably the world’s most formidable side and their consistent performances in the former World Cup tournaments oven just that. The Aussies had the taste of victory in Word Cup finals for the first time in the tournament held in 1987.
Losing to Sri Lanka in the finals of World Cup 1996 didn’t sit too well with the Aussies and thus, what followed in the following tournaments was something the Aussies deserve to be proud of. The team saw three consecutive tournament wins(in 1999 where they beat Pakistan, 2003 where India were eliminated and 2007 when Sri Lanka were deprived of gold) under captains Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting.
Important thing to note is the fact that Australia bade farewell to three key players following their last World Cup triumph; namely, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist. This, coupled with a few injuries off an on, jolted the team pretty badly which is probably why the Aussies suffered to register as many consistent and high-end performances as they previously did with all the star players.
That does not mean that Australia has been an easy side by any stretch; new and some of the retained players rallied under captain, Ricky Ponting and provided the Aussies with some stability. Australia may have been jolted badly by the injuries of Micheal Hussey and Nathan Hauritz who have failed to make their mark in the side but following a 6-1 win against England, the Aussies have lifted their game and quite likely picked themselves up from the recent Ashes loss.
As for now, the Aussies will be in high spirits with an all-round team that not only bats well but with Brett Lee, the veteran pace bowler, making a strong comeback to the side, Australia will be fancying their chances with a lethal bowling attack. Captain Ricky Ponting will be featuring in his fifth and most probably the last, World Cup before his prolific career comes to an end.
Having said that, his performance as a leader would be something that would be looked into the most and whether Ricky Ponting would be able to star with yet another blistering performance in a world cup tournament would be interesting to see.
Australia bat long with two smashing openers in Shane Watson and Brad Haddin. Skipper Ricky Ponting, Micheal Clarke and Cameron White drive the all-important middle order whereas David Hussey and Callum Ferguson would have a crack at the ball when they come in to bat in the lower order. Speedsters, Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee will not only be ripping through batting sides with their pace, swing and bounce but they can also whack the ball hard and middle it out of the stadium as well. Steven Smith, the leggie, may well prove to be a decisive factor in how things go on sub-continental pitches with the off-spinner, Jason Krejza to support him in the act. Shaun Tait would also be running in full steam along with his other two bowling mates and fire in some toe-crushing Yorkers to ruffle feathers of the opposition.
To sum it up, it might be too early to say if the Aussies would bag gold this time around but one thing that is guaranteed is the unraveled commitment and determination of this Australian side which might just prove to be the deciding factor at the end of the day.
Australia 15-man Squad:
Ricky Ponting (captain)
Micheal Clarke (vice captain)