Things have gone downwards for Australia after their 2015 World Cup triumph. The infamous ball-tampering scandal in South Africa which led to a one year ban of two key players, David Warner and Steven Smith has not helped their cause either.
They have recently suffered a 5-0 whitewash in ODI against England which has taken them to their new low in the ICC ODI rankings.
The reigning World Champions are currently placed 6th in the ICC ODI rankings, their lowest in 34 years. 16 defeats in 18 recently concluded matches is not a good sign either for the World Champions when the multi-nation event is just a few months away.
But, World Cups and Australia is a different love affair for they cannot be ruled out in any manner in major ICC Tournaments - especially World Cups. They are the only team to win this coveted title for a record five times.
They have won it in every continent wherever Cricket is played. They have reached the finals in the World Cup for a record seven times, winning five and losing twice - to West Indies in 1975 and to Srilanka in 1996. They won a hattrick of World Cups from 1999-2007 and became only the second team to successfully defend their title after West Indies.
Australia finds themselves in the same situation as in 1987, when the World Cup was held in India and Pakistan and no one gave them a chance as a team who can lift the Trophy following their poor ODI and subcontinental record.
But, the Aussies know that rankings and stats do not matter in World Cups, what matter is the team's performance throughout the tournament.
2019 World Cup comprises of 10 teams and the format will be round-robin and knockouts, the format similar to 1992 world cup. Australia will begin their world cup campaign on 1st June 2019 when they will take on Afghanistan in the 4th match of the tournament at Bristol.
The tournament is hosted by England, where Australia had won it in 1999 and there is no reason they can't do it again.
Let's have a look at reasons why Australia can defend their title.
#3 The lethal fast bowling attack
Australia has always been gifted with outstanding bowlers throughout their cricketing history. They had a spin wizard like Shane Warne and fast bowlers like Glenn Mcgrath.
Even now, their fast bowling is equally equipped with the likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Billy Stanlake and Josh Hazlewood who can blow the opposition batsman with their quality pace.
And with the conditions assisting their style of bowling, they might prove to be lethal for the opposition.
While their spin department is not too strong, but any of Adam Zampa, Ashton Agar or Nathan Lyon might step up in the day when it is required the most.
#2 Return of the big boys
Bans were imposed on Warner and Smith following the infamous sandpaper gate incident in South Africa earlier this year. Their bans will get over a month before the World Cup gets underway.
Following their ban, the Australian team has suffered their worst run in ODI cricket. Looking at the fragile batting order of the team, Warner and Smith might get included in the Australian world cup squad.
Their inclusion will make the Australian batting line-up strong which has been otherwise fragile.
Warner is a destructive opening batsman who if gets going, single-handedly wins the game for the team.
Smith is a strong middle order batsman who provides the team with stability required in the middle order.
With the likes of Aaron Finch, Travis Head at the top and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell towards the end, Australian batting looks strong and the return of Warner and Smith boosts their chances even more.
#1 Ability to raise their game
The Australians are the most consistent performers in the world cup. They have never lost a semi-final and made to the finals on seven occasions out of 11 world cups which shows how well they soak the pressure in crunch situations.
It was famously said that you can't be assured of a win against Australia until the last ball of the match is bowled.
This is relevant in their semifinal wins in 1996 world cup when they choked the West Indies team to win narrowly by five runs or a dramatic tie against South Africa in the 1999 World Cup semifinal.
The Aussies know how to win big games and with their ability to raise their game in big tournaments, Australia definitely can defend their title.