WC 2015 team profile: Australia look favourites to lift their 5th title

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Australia are the most successful team in the World Cup so far with four title wins and two runner-up laurels. The men in yellow didn't lose a single match in two World Cups, which is a record only matched by the West Indies. The Australians look favourites to win this edition for it is being played in their own backyard.

[WC 2015 team profile]

In the 2015 World Cup, Australia are clubbed with New Zealand, Sri Lanka, England, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Scotland in Pool A.


Here is Australia's schedule at WC 2015: Vs England (Feb 14), Vs Bangladesh (Feb 21), Vs New Zealand (Feb 28), Vs Afghanistan (Mar 4), Vs Sri Lanka (Mar 8), vs Scotland (Mar 14)

Squad: Michael Clarke (capt), George Bailey, Brad Haddin (wk), Patrick Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson.

Australia's best performance: Champions in 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007

Runners-up in 1975, 1996

Semifinalists: Never

Australia's success percentage in WC: 74% (played 76, won 55, lost 19, tied 1, no results 1)

Most matches as captain: Ricky Ponting 29 (Won 26, lost 2, no result 1)

Highest team score: 377/6 vs South Africa in 2007

Lowest team score: 129 vs India in 1983

Most number of matches in WC for Australia: Ricky Ponting (46)

Australia's highest scorer in WC: Ricky Ponting (1743 runs in 46 matches at an average of 45.86, best 140 not out)

Most number of wickets for Australia in WC: Glenn Mcgrath (71 wickets in 39 matches, best 7 for 15)

Highest individual score by an Australian in WC: Mathew Hayden (158 vs West Indies in 2007)

Best bowling figures by a West Indian in WC: WW Davis (7 for 51 vs Australia in 1983)

Biggest win for Australia in WC: Vs Bangladesh by 10 wickets in 2007, Vs Namibia by 256 runs in 2003

Narrowest win for Australia in WC: Vs England by 2 wickets in 2003, vs India by 1 run in 1987 and 1992

Biggest loss for Australia in WC: Vs South Africa by 9 wickets in 1992, vs West Indies by 101 runs in 1983

Narrowest loss for Australia in WC: Vs West Indies by 4 wickets in 1996; vs Pakistan by 10 runs in 1999

Looking back at Australia's performance in the World Cups since 1975:

1975: Australia made the semi-finals as the second team from the group after the West Indies to whom they lost by 7 wickets in the group stage. In the semi-finals, Australia bundled our hists England for a paltry score of 94 with Gary Gilmour taking 6 wickets for 14 runs.

Ian Chappel's side, however, made the chase difficult for themselves before getting a 4-wicket victory. In the finals, Australia lost to the West Indies by a close margin of 17 runs. The last wicket partnership of 41 between Lilee and Thomson still remains a high point of World Cup finals.

1979: Led by Kim Hughes, Australia had their worst World Cup in 1979 when they lost two of their three group matches and failed to make the semi-finals. They lost to England and Pakistan and won against a lowly Canada.

1983: Hughes had another disappointing World Cup as the captain in 1983 as his team failed to qualify for the semi-finals again. Australia had a disastrous start to their campaign as they lost to debutants Zimbabwe and could win only two of their six group matches. The thumping 162-run victory over eventual champions India was their only high point in this edition. But the 118-loss against Kapil Dev's team in the return match ended their chances.

1987: Allan Border became the first Australian skipper to win the World Cup after they beat England by just 7 runs in the finals. The Australians had finished with India in the group stage with same points but finished second owing to a worse net run rate. They beat co-hosts Pakistan by 18 runs at Lahore in the semi-finals and then Mike Gatting's fatal reverse sweep in the final at Kolkata gave them their maiden crown.

1992: The Australians looked favourites to win the title in this edition since it was played on their home soil and they were in great form at the moment (beat India 4-0 in a Test series and won a tri-series involving India and the West Indies).

But Border's side had a horrible start to their campaign as they lost to debutants South Africa by 9 wickets and could never recover. They finished fifth among nine teams but ended the West Indies' chances of making the semi-finals by beating them in the final league match.

1996: Led by Mark Taylor, Australia were one of the favourites and they lived up to the expectations. They gave a walkover to Sri Lanka owing to security reasons and lost to the West Indies in the group stage but still finished second in the group ahead of India, thanks to a better run-rate.

Mark Waught's magnificent century earned them a victory in a high-scoring chase against New Zealand in the quarter-finals while they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against the West Indies in the semi-finals. But the Sri Lankans were too hot to handle in the final and Australia lost the match by 7 wickets.

1999: Australia were back to win their second title, this time under the captaincy of Steve Waugh. They had two defeats against New Zealand and Pakistan in the group stage and were at a disadvantage in the Super Six stage.

But Waugh's side came up with a superb performance in the Super Six stage and particularly the captain's magnificent 120 not out against South Africa is considered one of the best in the history of the tournament.

This win also meant that the Australians won the thrilling semifinal after the match with South Africa ended in a tie and Pakistan were just blown away by the men in yellow in the finals.

2003: The beginning of Australia's golden run in the World Cup. Captained by Ricky Ponting, Australia beat each and every team that had come on their way in this tournament. They defeated Pakistan, India, the Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Namibia, England, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Kenya, Sri Lanka and India.

Ponting's blazing 140 not out against India in the finals made it the most one-sided in the history of the World Cup. Australia became the first team to win the World Cup thrice, bettering the West Indies' record.

2007: Ponting became the second captain after West Indies' Clive Lloyd to win successive World Cups after Australia remained unbeaten in yet another World Cup and beat Sri Lanka in a rain-hit final. Matthew Hayden's super-human form was a high point of this World Cup and Adam Gilchrist's 149 off 104 balls in the final bettered the record of his own captain registered four years ago.

Australia beat Scotland, the Netherlands, South Africa, West Indies, Bangladesh, England, Ireland, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and South Africa and Sri Lanka in the semifinals and finals, respectively. It was a World Cup where the Australians beat each of their opponents comprehensively.

2011: Australia lost their first World Cup match after 12 years in this edition. They finished third in the group stage after Pakistan and Sri Lanka but lost to India in the quarter-finals to miss out from the World Cup semifinals for the first time since 1987. Captain Ponting scored 104 in his last World Cup match.

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