Why Australia will always remain a World Cup darling

Five-time champion Australia holds the record for the most runs as a team; Aaron Finch and Co. are again a favourite after Steve Smith, David Warner re-entry.

David Warner enters the field of play with his team-mates during the Cricket World Cup practice match against New Zealand in Brisbane on May 6.   -  GETTY IMAGES

World Cup records are special and Australia is a constant in the books. As it gears up for title defence in the UK, a look at the numbers scored over the years will act as a boost.

Apart from being the only nation to lay its hands on the trophy five times, the Kangaroos also top the run list. They have scored 19,528 runs in 11 World Cup editions.

Two-time World Cup winner as captain, Ricky Ponting is the top run-getter for Australia in the marquee tournament. Ponting scored 1,743 runs — five centuries and six fifties — in 46 matches at an average of 45.86.

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In the all-time run-scorers’ list, Ponting is second only to Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar (2,278 runs).

Former wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist was a finals specialist. The southpaw’s 72-ball 100 against Sri Lanka in 2007 is the fastest World Cup hundred. Among the Australians, he is next to Ponting in the list with 1,085 runs — one ton and eight fifties — in 31 games at an average of 36.16.

Australia has won 62 matches in the World Cup — the most by any nation. It has lost 20 games and drawn two. As captain, Ponting won 26 out of 29 games in the World Cup.

 

In 2018, Australia had lost its spark after the temporary departure of then-captain Steve Smith and David Warner for their involvement in a ball-tampering incident in South Africa. But it regrouped in time to be ready for the big event.

Warner returned to cricket with a brilliant run in the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Smith led Rajasthan Royals in a few games and scored three fifties.

Prior to the tournament — before Smith and Warner's second coming — Australia beat India and Pakistan in two back-to-back away ODI series.

Now that they are back, Australia will once again walk into the tournament as one of the favourites.

How Australia fared in its last 10 ODIs

March 2: Lost to India (six wickets)

March 5: Lost to India (eight runs)

March 8: Beat India by 32 runs

March 10: Beat India by four wickets

March 13: Beat India by 35 runs

March 22: Beat Pakistan by eight wickets

March 24: Beat Pakistan by eight wickets

March 27: Beat Pakistan by 80 runs

March 29: Beat Pakistan by six runs

March 31: Beat Pakistan by 20 runs