Photo: Australian team with the 2015 Cricket World Cup Trophy Photo Courtesy: http://www.cricket.com.au/
There is a saying, “Cricket is a game where two nations play and Australia always wins.” Oh! Wait; this is what people say about German football team. But Australia is as dominant as any sporting nation in the world. They have won the ICC cricket world Cup for the 5th time and taken the Cup back from defending champions India, and deservedly as they defeated the former champions in sensational fashion in the semifinals.
On 29th March, 2015, it was Australia vs. Rest of the World because people have grown sick of this dominant nation. They have won previous World Cup final encounters with a dominating display and it was no different at the day of finale as they outclassed New Zealand with a clinical bowling display. Right from the word go, Australians made their intent pretty clear by cleaning up Brendon McCullum in the first over. It was a battle to witness as it was between Man of the Tournament Mitchell Starc and the destructive New Zealand captain. They built pressure throughout the innings and kept making inroads and restricted the unbeaten team in the tournament to 183 runs. With few nervy moments, it was a comfortable chase for the home team at the home of cricket Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) where 93,013 people witnessed the dominance of the Australian Cricket once again.
World Cup was inevitable though for the Australian Cricket team because of their build up and advantage of playing at home. Australia was down and out during after the Ashes 2013 which was held in England. They were treated like a street dog in India as they were defeated 4-0 in the test series. The whole world made the mockery of the four time world cup champions back then. Mitchell Johnson’s position in the team was questioned. David Warner was in and out of the team following his disciplinary act. The voice inside every Australian’s head said not to write them off. Darren Lehmann, the World Cup winner with Australia in 1999 and 2003 coached the Australian team and they started from the bottom. They started with the basics. They lost the ODI series in India 3-2 after his arrival, but people could see the improvement and a very dangerous Australian team on the way. They came to their own home turf in 2013 as the underdogs in the Ashes Series but everyone joined the party from Mitchell Johnson to David Warner. Steven Smith was the finding of that Ashes series who was young but an extremely talented bloke. Then they thumped the invincible proteas in the home ground. The world was stunned by the pace bowling and bouncers of Mitchell Johnson. After the series, Australia kept low profile, improving young talents like Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner, Mitchell Starc and young Mitchell Marsh. Australia had a major blow before the world cup as Phillip Hughes tragically died because of the bouncer that struck in his head.
They went into the major tournament with lots of emotions, talent and promise. The success of the Australia in the World Cup was due to one of the openers always firing up, solid middle order and some major firecrackers at the end. Starc and Johnson provided aggressive bowling attack, Smith provided calmness in the middle order and Maxwell destroyed the bowler all along the World Cup.
This team gives the glimpses of the Australian team which ruled the world by winning 3 World Cups in a row but their defense in 2019 will really show how well their domestic cricket is structured. This dominant side will definitely give a lot of headache to other cricketing nations in the years to come.