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Do Defending Champions Retain the World Cup

Australia come into this World Cup as the defending champions and certainly not one of the favorites to lift the trophy.

Australia Cricket World Cup Team 2019
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To take the crucial step into the top four, Australia will have to defeat bitter foes and tournament favorite, England.

In this article, we will analyze the Australian team and their chances of winning against England, and taking a crucial step towards finishing in the final four.

The top order of Aaron Finch and David Warner have been in sublime form, with both having scored 150+ runs in a single game.

 Aaron Finch and David Warner
Aaron Finch and David Warner
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They are both In the top ten of the highest run getters in the tournament with David Warner at the top of the summit. These two have considerable experience batting together and were part of their 2015 World Cup winning opening duo. Warner has been in exemplary form.

The bad news for the other teams is that Warner is not even close to his explosive best. If that happens, teams are in for a surprise, as we all are aware of Warner’s hitting prowess.

Finch has had a magnificent 2019 himself and has also really evolved as a captain. Michael Vaughan has added that according to him, Finch is the best captain of the World Cup, owing largely to his understanding of the game, and his stoic mindset which is reminiscent of MS Dhoni’s 2011 World Cup triumph.

The middle order of Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell are the key players who will have the responsibility of scoring the bulk of the runs.

Steve Smith & Glenn Maxwell
Steve Smith & Glenn Maxwell
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Usman Khawaja was the highest run getter in 2019 prior to this World Cup, having been awarded the man of The Series in the bilateral games against India.

He was struggling for form, but he seemed to have found it in his last game against Bangladesh, where he scored 80 odd runs and was instrumental in ensuring that Australia posted a massive total on the board.

Steve Smith needs no introduction. He is to Australia what Virat Kohli is to India. He is the anchor, the lynch pin around which the team revolves.

He is the player responsible for rotating the strike and keep the runs flowing. He was also part of the 2015 World Cup wining side, where he played a similar role, although he had Michael Clarke supporting and mentoring him.

This time, he has to be the torch bearer himself and has to lead by example. He has a good start to this tournament and one gets the feeling that some big runs are around the corner for Steve Smith.

The two all-rounders in this side, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis are entrusted with bowling the last slot of 10 overs between them.

Maxwell is obviously well known all around the world for his explosive displays with the bat. With a solid foundation set by the middle order, Maxwell can really push into fourth gear and propel the side to a massive score like he has done on so many occasions before.

Marcus Stoinis Australia Cricket World Cup 2019
Marcus Stoinis
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He will be supported in this role by Marcus Stoinis as well as by wicket keeper Alex Carey. Another player who was part of the 2015 World Cup side, Maxwell is one of the more experienced players and he will have a crucial role to play if the Aussies are to lift the trophy at the home of their bitter rivals.

The bowling is undoubtedly the strength of this Aussie team led by the fearful duo Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.

Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins Cricket World Cup 2019
Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins
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Both are extremely potent with not only the new ball but also with their unique knack to take wickets both during the middle overs as well as at the death.

Cummins has been a revelation this past year, having won the Allan Border Medal for Australian Player of the Year, and he seems to be getting better and better.

The good news for Australia is that both Cummins and Starc are among the wickets in this World Cup and are in the top ten of most wickets column.

Starc himself was the leading wicket taker in the 2015 WC and will be looking to maintain his record.

leg spinner Adam Zampa cricket world cup 2019
Adam Zampa
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The remaining two bowling slots are shared between leg spinner Adam Zampa and paceman Nathan Coulter Nile. Coulter Nile has shown himself to be an asset to this side with his match wining 92 with the bat against West Indies.

Zampa has the ability to take wickets in the middle overs, though he does have a tendency to leak runs. Despite that, he seems to be having the confidence of Finch and Maxwell and he will be hoping to justify the confidence of the selectors.

One cannot certainly write Australia off, as they are after all five time winners and the reigning champions. They will certainly need to play at their best if they are to win this trophy at the home of cricket.

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