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
Stuart Broad one of the world’s best ever bowlers despite suffering from asthma
The England star is one of only seven players in the history of the game to reach 500 Test wickets.
Jonny Bairstow suffers injury in Yorkshire’s win over Worcestershire
It will be a worry to England ahead of the T20 series against Sri Lanka next week.
Heather Knight frustrated to miss century in her 100th game as England captain
The England captain made 95 as the home side finished the opening day of the Test with India on 296 for six in Bristol.
Day one of England’s Test against India: Dunkley debuts and Knight excels
The hosts made 269 for six.
Heather Knight falls short of century as England falter after good start
The home side were 269 for six after day one of the Test against India in Bristol.
The talking points ahead of a big Test for England Women
India are the visitors for a four-day match at Bristol.
ECB ‘sorry’ as England Women forced to play India Test on used wicket
The pitch at Bristol was used for Gloucestershire’s Vitality Blast game against Sussex last week.
Heather Knight: Used wicket is not ideal for England’s Test with India
The first Test starts at Bristol’s County Ground on Wednesday.
Assistant coach Graham Thorpe urges England batsmen to show their ‘desperation’
The Test team are mulling over a first home series defeat in seven years after collapsing against New Zealand at Edgbaston.