SWOT analysis: Australia eyes redemption after troubled year

Australia, currently, doesn’t go into the World Cup as the best ODI team with India and England being its primary threats to successfully defend the trophy.

The ICC Cricket World Cup presents an opportunity for Aaron Finch's team, with an opportunity to resurrect Australian cricket's tarnished image.   -  CRICKET AUSTRALIA

Aaron Finch will lead Australia’s attempt for a successful title defence, with former captain Steve Smith and former vice-captain David Warner aiming to revive themselves on their return to international cricket.

Strengths

With the belligerence of Warner and a back-in-form Finch at the top of the order, Smith’s prowess against spin bowling through the middle overs and Glenn Maxwell’s ability to improvise — gives Australia’s batting an edge going into the World Cup. As recently as March, Finch was searching for runs and the middle order looked unconvincing. The series against India in India and Pakistan in the UAE sparked the turnaround in form for the batting group, with Peter Handscomb, who scored 479 runs at an average of 43.54 this calendar year, losing his spot to Smith in the World Cup squad.

Weaknesses

Australia’s bowling attack is not exactly a weakness but it’s not one of its strengths either. Australia’s bowling is more or less one-dimensional with most of them being hit-the-deck kind — Mitchell Starc could be an exception. In the spin department, Nathan Lyon has been picked alongside the more potent Adam Zampa despite having largely struggled in the ODI format.

Opportunities

The World Cup comes exactly a year and two months after the Sandpaper Gate, which plunged Australia cricket into a state of turmoil, presenting Finch and co. with an opportunity to resurrect Australian cricket's tarnished image.

Threats

Australia, currently, doesn’t go into the World Cup as the best ODI team with India and England being its primary threats to successfully defend the trophy.

Squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.