ICC CT 2017 Australia Team Preview - THE AUSSIE JUGGERNAUT
The 5-time world champions and the 2-time champions trophy winners globetrot their way to the land they’ve been to, on numerous occasions. The Australians are the most accomplished team in the ODI format and after winning the world title a couple of years back in their own backyard, they’ll try to add a 3rd Champions Trophy title to their silverware collection.
Steven Smith will be leading this pack of aggressive cricketers. They have the likes of David Warner, who can take down any given bowling attack and also the mighty Mitchell Starc, who can hurl in those toe-crushers at almost 100 miles/hour. Australia do have fond memories of winning the 1999, 50 over World Cup, but since then they haven’t won any major trophy in the European Country.
NUMBERS FROM THE PAST: The Aussies in England( the host country for the upcoming Champions Trophy) have played 95 games, won 49, lost 40, tied & N/R 6. Also they have the second highest winning percentage for teams in the Champions trophy with a winning percentage of 63.15 in the 21 games they’ve played.
Australia are part of GROUP A. They face ENGLAND, BANGLADESH and NEW ZEALAND in the group stages.
PLAYED WON LOST WIN %
NEW ZEALAND 135 90 39 66.6
ENGLAND 136 80 51 58.8
BANGLADESH 19 18 1 94.7
AUSTRALIAN SQUAD for ICC Champions trophy 2017
Steve Smith(c), David Warner, Matthew Wade(wk), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Travis Head, Moises Henriques.
LEADING RUN GETTERS IN THE PAST YEAR AND A HALF: David Warner has hit a purple patch and has been scoring runs for fun. Warner has piled up the most number of runs and the most number of hundreds since January 2016. During this period only Babar Azam comes a close second in terms of hundreds scored. Steven Smith also features in the top run getters during this period. Smith has also had the additional responsibility of holding the team together and that he’s done with a lot of conviction and authority. The numbers these two batting giants have managed to accumulate are impressive.
FROM JAN 2016- MAY 2017
MATCHES RUNS AVERAGE STRIKE RATE HUNDREDS
DAVID WARNER 28 1755 65.00 106.94 9
STEVEN SMITH 31 1375 50.92 88.70 4
Warner has evolved into one of the finest batsmen of the modern generation. His ability to accelerate at will and then to nudge the bowlers around for ones and twos has made him an unstoppable force. The hundreds he’s scored have all been knocks of the highest order. Steve Smith at number 3 plays a similar role. The Aussies have in Smith and Warner, two crisp stroke makers and excellent judges of runs. A combination as lethal as this, the other three teams in the group have to only hope that they commit a forcible error or produce absolute peaches to see them back in the hut, for not much on the board.
Australia Match Fixtures
JUNE 2, GROUP A: AUSTRALIA VS NEW ZEALAND at EDGBASTON.
JUNE 5, GROUP A: AUSTRALIA VS BANGLADESH at the OVAL.
JUNE 10, GROUP A: ENGLAND VS AUSTRALIA at EDGBASTON.
OH! MITCHELL STARC:
Injuries have plagued Starcs’ participation in the ODIs over the last 18 months. His record though isn’t the worst during this period. 39 wickets in 19 games would please any individual but not this champion bowler. The pacer was last seen tormenting the Indian batting line-up a couple of months back. Very few in world cricket can swing the ball both ways at over 90 miles per hour. In the 65 games he’s been a part of, he’s picked 4 wickets or more, 12 times. The stat there speaks volumes about his potential. Starc ranks #2 in the ICC rankings for bowlers in ODIs; with him and Josh Hazlewood in the team, runs will be hard to come by and a flurry of wickets is a serious possibility.
MITCHELL STARC’s stats in ODIs.
MATCHES WICKETS ECONOMY RATE AVERAGE BBI 4Ws 5Ws
65 129 4.74 20.43 6/28 7 5
Australia have some breathtaking all-rounders in their 15 member squad. Glenn Maxwell, didn't have the greatest Indian Premier League but his batting prowess is known. Moises Henriques was impressive with the bat, but his services with the ball were minimal. Marcus Stoinis after a cracking debut series against the Kiwis, didn’t live upto his clobbering best. Pat Cummins had a decent Big Bash League and his ability to use the long handle will help them finish with a flair in the final stages of the innings. Travis Head at two drop will prove to be a handful against any opposition. We did see glimpses of what he’s capable of, in the IPL.
PLAYERS STRIKE RATES
GLENN MAXWELL 125.28
MARCUS STON 112.94
TRAVIS HEAD 88.78
MATTHEW WADE 82.04
The averages will keep getting better with the number of games. Glenn Mawxwell on his day can absolutely massacre any bowling unit. Stoinis’ 146* against New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland was enough to declare his arrival to International cricket. Travis Head can play the role of a nudger and also the role of a squash-buckling finisher. The versatility of this current Australian squad gives them the edge over the other teams participating in this high octave tournament.
Adam Zampa’s guile also means that the men from down under have plenty of options to work with. Zampa has been a certainty in the limited over formats(T20 and 50 over). 34 wickets in the last 18 months makes him a wicket taking option.
Australia have all departments covered and have some of the finest at every number. Aaron Finch has been a consistent performer in ODIs and has tasted success in this part of the country. His 156 against England at The Rose Bowl, Southampton is one knock, that’s managed to stay ever so fresh. Warner along with Finch can tonk the ball to all corners of the park, while Head and Smith can keep the scoreboard ticking; the audacious boundary clearing ability of Maxwell and Stoinis make them top contenders and their JUGGERNAUT like it has always, continues.