World Cup team profile: Australia
World Cup history
The co-hosts this year have the most World Cup titles under their belt, four to be precise, and their last triumph came in 2007. That was their third title in a row, when Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting still dominated.
Their first came in 1987 in India, the first time the tournament was played outside England, and Allan Border's men still wore white in the format.
The Aussies, who will be playing in their canary yellow gear this time, are the favourites, in large part because of their dominance at home. They have big hitters up front, superb finishers in Smith an Faulkner, and the pace of the Mitchells Johnson, Starc and Marsh.
Best finish: Winners (1987, 1999, 2003, 2007)
Squad: Michael Clarke (capt), George Bailey (vice-capt), Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson.
Key Batsman: Steven Smith is the man of the hour for the hosts, fresh from his Allan Border Medal win and a fantastic home summer. He scored Test runs, ODI runs, strings of big scores, and became the only man to make a ton on Test and ODI captaincy debuts. Getting him out early will be half the battle won for the bowlers.
Key Bowler: While it's tempting to say Johnson, we're going to go with Mitch Starc. He had a superb tri-series against England and India, highlighted by a six-fer in Melbourne. He averages a touch over 20 with the ball in ODIs, and has been impressive with the white ball in recent months.
Drinks carrier: Very tricky, as the Aussies don't really have passengers. One imagines spinner Xavier Doherty could be sidelined depending on the pitch, while the pacemen will probably be rotated as all are in form. The selectors have an strange habit of leaving James Faulkner out though.
Kit colour: Very bright yellow, with the Southern Cross on the front.
Injury concerns: Michael Clarke is the most obvious here, as he has until 21 February, the game against Bangladesh, to prove his fitness. He's been out of action since early December, and has had hamstring surgery, so all eyes will be on him. If he's not fit, Smith will hold on to the captaincy, one imagines.
Sat Feb 14 – Australia v England at the MCG
Sat Feb 21 – Australia v Bangladesh at the Gabba
Sat Feb 28 – New Zealand v Australia at Eden Park
Wed Mar 4 – Australia v Afghanistan at the WACA
Sun Mar 8 – Australia v Sri Lanka at the SCG
Sat Mar 14 – Australia v Scotland at the Bellerive Oval
India batter Virat Kohli announces birth of child on social media
The 35-year-old had made himself unavailable for the ongoing series against England due to personal reasons.
I have plenty going on – Colin Graves explains not apologising to Azeem Rafiq
Graves officially returned as Yorkshire chairman on February 9.
India set to rest star paceman Jasprit Bumrah for fourth Test against England
Bumrah is the leading wicket-taker in the series with 17 dismissals at a stunning average of 13.64.
ECB lacked ‘backbone’ for not calling out Lord Botham’s criticism of ICEC report
The former England all-rounder and Durham chairman described last summer’s findings on discrimination in cricket as “nonsense”.
Alice Capsey eyeing World Cup glory as teen looks to build on rollercoaster 2023
The 19-year-old has added plenty to her ‘toolbox’ after World Cup and Ashes experiences in 2023.
Will England change ‘Bazball’ approach after heavy third Test defeat to India?
There have been suggestions that England’s aggressive approach needs to be refined.
Brendon McCullum adamant England will not change methods despite huge defeat
The tourists slipped 2-1 behind in the five-match series.
Family comes first – Rohit Sharma fully behind Ravichandran Ashwin departure
The India spinner left the third Test against England after the second day due to a family medical emergency.
Ben Stokes calls for ‘umpires call’ element of DRS system to be abolished
Stokes and Brendon McCullum took up their grievance over Zak Crawley’s dismissal with match referee Jeff Crowe.
Ben Stokes urges England not to ‘spiral’ after drubbing by India in third Test
It was England’s heaviest defeat in terms of runs since 1934.