Australian Cricket: The Story of Endless Success
How have Australia managed to put out a successful squad in World Cups for a third decade in a row?
As a rampaging Australia demolished a rather sorry looking New Zealand side in the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, history was made in more ways than one. The Australian cricket team outdid themselves by lifting the title for a record 5th time. Although they started off the tournament as one of the favorites, the odds were heavily stacked up against them in the final against the Kiwis. However, they emerged victorious in a heavily one-sided encounter and clinched the title yet again.
So what is it that makes the Aussies so special? Is it the knack of producing generations of great cricketers? Or is it the steely determination and guts? Well, the safest way to answer it is that it is a combination of a number of factors. Let’s take a closer look at some of these factors in detail.
Presence of Impact Players
The Kangaroos always seem to find the right players who can make that much-needed impact when required. While in 1987 it was the likes of David Boon, Geoff Marsh and Craig McDermott. In 1999, it was the Waugh brothers, Shane Warne and Glen McGrath who rose to the occasion. Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Brett Lee did it for them in 2003, whereas Matthew Hayden, Shaun Tait and Brad Hogg were heroes of the 2007 edition. This time around it was the superlative Mitchell Starc who starred for the Australians.
Ability to Handle Pressure
The knockout stages of any tournament are a stern test of nerves, let alone the World Cup (just ask the South Africans). It is where the men get separated from the boys. The Aussie cricket team hits the nail on the head in these situations with nerves of steel. One of the greatest examples of this came during their 1999 triumph when they snatched a spot in the final by managing to pull off a tie in their semi-final against hot favorites South Africa. The further the tournament progresses, the stronger they get and this was proved yet again in their latest conquest.
A great contributor to the Baggy Greens’ success over the past several decades has been the sheer ruthlessness with which they play the game. They simply do not allow the opposition to settle down and dictate the game right from the off. They look to dominate proceedings right from the outset, irrespective of whether they are bowling or batting. This ruthless nature was on full display during the 2007 Cricket World Cup in West Indies which the Aussies won without breaking a sweat.
The Aussie’s have always been blessed with some great leaders. All their World Cup winning captains have not only been fine leaders but also legends in their own right. Allan Border held the record for the most Test runs for a long time; on the other hand, Steve Waugh is among the top 10 leading run scorers in Tests. Ricky Ponting is 2nd in the list of leading Test run scorers and 3rd in the list of leading One Day International run scorers while Michael Clarke is one of the best Test batsmen of the current generation. To add to it, they have all taken responsibility when it mattered the most.
Australia’s triumph in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup is a testimony to their unmatched skills and steely resolve to stay at the top. No matter what the opposition throws at them, they give it back with greater intensity. It is this quality that has always kept them one step ahead of the rest and put them on the path to endless glory.