Team Analysis: Australia at ICC Champions Trophy 2017

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Australia head into the Champions Trophy with uncertainty and the dawn of a new beginning in their ODI cricket era. Only two years ago, the team captured their fifth World Cup trophy in front of a record-breaking home crowd by surpassing New Zealand.

However, since then the team’s performance has been quite volatile and even reached certain low points as evident from their 5-0 whitewash defeat in South Africa.

The last 12 months for Australia cricket team has seen ups and downs on a regular basis. In ODIs especially, the team sometimes struck rhythm and defeated their opponents with ease whereas in other instances, their performance made critics question whether this was the world no. 1 side that was playing or not. Australia were whitewashed 3-0 and 5-0 in ODI series at Sri Lanka and South Africa respectively. Although they won the tri-series in West Indies and the ODI series against New Zealand and Pakistan, the team’s performance was not stable at all. Moreover, they lost the Chappell-Hadlee trophy to New Zealand afterwards following a 2-0 loss in the ODI series at New Zealand.

Currently the 2nd placed team in ODI rankings, Australia thus head into the Champions trophy with the determination to recapture the trophy and their top spot in the rankings. The Champions Trophy was a mysterious case for Australia in the past as they failed to win it in their first four attempts. But under the leadership of Ricky Ponting, Australia rewrote the history books, winning back to back editions of the tournament in 2006 and 2009. Now they stand as the team with most wins (2) jointly shared with India.

Australia won the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy

As we look into the squad for Australia, the team is littered with batting talents. Warner and Smith are of course, the two most experienced batsmen of this side. Warner’s ODI form in the past one year coupled with Smith’s consistency across all formats will be crucial to Australia’s batting. Finch has not been regular with the bat but when needed, he usually steps up to add runs on the board. Australia also have some hard hitters in Glenn Maxwell, Chris Lynn and Moises Henrqiues. In Travis Head and Matthew Wade, they have two batsmen capable of finishing a run chase with ease. Even Mitchell Starc can chip in with the bat when required, as seen from his performance with the bat in India.

In the bowling department, the pace quartet of Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins and Pattinson are ready to fire from all cylinders. The English swing conditions if utilized fully, will transform them into the most ferocious pace quartet and will pave the path for Australia to reduce their opponents to low scoring totals. The all-rounders Maxwell, Stoinis, Henriques and Hastings are quite decent as well.

Also Read:  Cricket Post COVID-19

209617.3
Steve Smith will lead the batting from the front

However, there are glaring weaknesses evident from the composition of this side. Firstly, most of the batsmen in this side are hard hitters and generally ideal for T20 format. Warner, Maxwell, Lynn and Henriques can surely increase the run rate of the side, but when a batting collapse occurs or under fiery attack from good bowlers, they usually do not have the temperament to build the innings or lead the team towards a steep run chase. That puts huge pressure on Steve Smith and the day he fails to perform with the bat, a batting collapse may be underway.

Secondly, Australia will surely miss the services of James Faulkner. Faulkner is an experienced all-rounder in the international stage and has saved Australia countless times during run chases. His performance was also exemplary during the 2015 ICC World Cup final. Despite his unstable form, he should have been given a contract and selected for the Champions Trophy squad. In his absence, it will be the duty of Head and wicketkeeper Wade to assume the role of finishers. While Head in his recent performances has matured as a performer, he still does not have the experience in bigger stages. The same argument applies for Wade who is also inconsistent with the bat.

a857a9d49295f3ff6c4acc9af6ae0721
Will Starc outperform others in yet another ICC tournament?

Thirdly, although the pacers look quite dangerous on paper, there are concerns regarding their performances. Hazlewood has been out of international cricket for a while and Pattinson’s career has been plagued with injuries. The spotlight will be upon Starc to deliver once again on a grand platform. Furthermore, Adam Zampa is not an experienced spinner and his inexperience might hurt his side during the middle overs of a game on a spin pitch.

Lastly, nine players in this squad are playing in their first ever ICC Champions Trophy and were not included in the World Cup team in 2015. Their inexperience can be a cause of Australia’s early exit from the tournament if they succumb to the immense pressure of being in the same group with New Zealand, England and Bangladesh.

Despite these weaknesses, Australia are still one of the favorites heading into the tournament. Australian sides usually rise up to the occasion and as a tournament progresses, they transform into a formidable team. Their resilience comes in handy during the knockout stages of a tournament. And this time, it will not be any different as Steve Smith will look forward to leading his side towards their third Champions Trophy victory and reassert their dominance in the ODI format. Whether that comes to fruition or not will be discovered on June 18 in the final at the Oval. But Steve Smith will be keen on achieving that and his squad, despite the flaws is capable of achieving the goal.

prv 7df88 1480992294
Can Australia achieve their goal?

Australia squad for Champions Trophy:

Smith (captain), Warner (vice-captain), Finch, Hazlewood, Starc, Maxwell, Wade, Cummins, Hastings, Stoinis, Henriques, Head, Zampa, Lynn and Pattinson

Fixture:

Australia vs England at Edgbaston on June 2

Australia vs Bangladesh at the Oval on June 5

Australia vs New Zealand at Edgbaston on June 10

2e3b93b963f988d73bb777afd05934f6?s=117&d=mm&r=g
Ali Mashrafhttps://www.linkedin.com/pub/ali-mashraf/49/aa6/1bb
Avid sports fan and sports writer! Enjoy doing a variety of stuff. To view my full bio, please visit the following link: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ali-mashraf
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

IPL: Mumbai Indians Lose Season Opener

Mumbai Indians lost an Indian Premier League (IPL) opener for the 8th successive year following a 5-wicket loss to Chennai Super Kings. Having lost the first game of the season in the last 7 years, Mumbai might have thought this was their time, as they were on a 5-game winning run against CSK. However, ex Mumbai Indians player Ambati Rayudu and South African superstars Faf du Plessis and Lungi Ngidi ensured that it didn’t...

When Did Formula One Begin?

If you ask virtually anyone the world over a simple question – “What is Formula One” they will probably get the answer correct.  It’s a car race!  Even though that might be a very simple reply (a better answer would be it’s the highest class of international single-seater auto-racing!) there is another question that will probably stump them.  That question is “When did Formula One begin?”. In order to answer the question properly we need...

Stanley Cup Finals: Tampa Bay Lightning vs Dallas Stars

After nearly two months of play in the hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton, one more team, either the Tampa Bay Lightning or the Dallas Stars will have their bubble burst as the other emerges as the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals champions. The Stars won two games against the Lightning in the regular season, each in overtime (4-3 on December 19; 3-2 on January 27) The Lightning representing the Eastern Conference made it to the...

The Cleveland Browns Are Looking Up

The Cleveland Browns have a team that had a ton of questions this year. They came into the game against the Bengals unsure of how they were going to get their offense going. While the Bengals aren't at all a good defense, it's still hard to play those divisional games and win. The AFC North is known for brutally cold weather that makes it nearly impossible to stay sharp, yet they were sharp offensively....

The Case For Rocky Marciano

You wouldn't think, not even for a second, that you would have to defend a world champion boxer who retired with an unblemished record of 49-0 (43 KO's), but if it's Rocky Marciano we're talking about then yep, he needs to be defended. It's ridiculous, but true. Marciano seems to have as many naysayers as he does fans. "He was too small", "He never fought anybody in their prime", "He'd get killed today"; etc....

Fantasy Basketball: The Best Draft Pick Techniques You Should Know

Image Source Fantasy Basketball gives everyone the anticipation that keeps you up at night just to draft the ultimate fantasy basketball line-up. Your ultimate goal is to dominate any opponent all season. Sadly, not everyone has the skills and experience to win. Remember that if you are considering joining a fantasy basketball league, you need to consider some factors. Successful players and experts choose more than their favorite team or a player's value. Even if you...

2020 NBA Western Conference Finals: A Victor Emerges

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets will meet for the second time in the NBA Western Conference Finals. The Lakers managed to breeze through Portland and Houston in the first two rounds, while Denver has proven themselves to be true underdogs, coming back from a 3-1 deficit against Utah and the L.A. Clippers. Will the Lakers blow past the Nuggets, or will Denver pull off another unimaginable moment in the playoffs?   Point Guard:...

Why Did the Clippers Fail in the NBA Playoffs?

Lets make one thing clear; the Nuggets won that series because they were a better team than the Clippers. They outplayed the Clippers in the NBA playoffs, plain and simple. Yes the Clippers did underperform, it was due to the Nuggets were elite. They were one of the hottest teams in the bubble and they've gotten it done. Jamal Murray has developed into an elite scorer, the Joker has kept up his elite play, and...

Leinster VS Ulster: Pro 14 Champions Final 2020

The annual Pro 14 tournament was wrapped up as the final whistle blew at The Aviva Stadium in Dublin this past weekend. Leinster reigned in as the Pro 14 Champions 2020 against an enthusiastic Ulster team, winning 27-5, to become the first side ever to win three consecutive Pro 14 titles. The Dublin side held their remarkable reputation as the most successful provincial Irish rugby sides following their victory on Saturday, and have once again...

Premier League Opening Week Wrap Up: Rodriguez, Leeds impress; Vardy picks up from last season

A thrilling opening weekend clash between defending champions Liverpool and the newly promoted side Leeds United reminded the world what it was missing as the coronavirus disappointment continued all across the globe. Packed inside the house due to safety concerns, the return of Premier League after 47 days brought huge cheers to the face of the fans. It was not just the return of the league, but the manner in which it returned, that had...

Social Connect

1,179FansLike
3,703FollowersFollow

Trending Now

When Did Formula One Begin?

If you ask virtually anyone the world over a simple question – “What is Formula One” they will probably get the answer correct.  It’s...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x