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ICC World Cup 2023: Australian Giants Finally Waking Up From Their Slumber

After losing their first 2 matches, the Australian team's made a solid comeback winning all their WC matches since.

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World Cup
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Five losses in six matches preceding the ICC World Cup 2023 and two more consecutive losses to kick off their campaign in the mega event — that's how the Australian giants slept through the entire preparatory and early stages of the tournament, creating murmurs in the cricketing world that this Australian team was going to be no big challenge in India.

This team consists of the same big names as they had five or even 10 years back- Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood. But, this time, they were failing.

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The batting lineup wasn't able to deliver and do justice to the potential it had. Their struggles could be understood from the margins (111 runs, 164 runs, 122 runs, and 99 runs) of their losses in four out of their five losses preceding the tournament.

Things didn't change even when the World Cup started as they got bowled out for 199 and 177 in the first two matches against India and South Africa respectively. It's clear that the main reason behind their miseries was the failure of their batters to deliver again and again.

Things had to improve before it was too late, and it did in a spectacular fashion since the game against Sri Lanka.

Australia registered a convincing five-wicket win against the Lankans in Lucknow, which was their third match of the campaign. They chased down a modest target of 210, with Mitch Marsh and Josh Inglis scoring match-winning fifties. However, what followed in the next three games was absolute carnage!

After losing their first 2 matches, the Australian team's made a solid comeback winning all their WC matches since.

New Delhi: Australian batter David Warner celebrates his century during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 match between Australia and Netherlands, at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023.

(Photo: PTI)

Top-Order Strikes Form

The Australian batters suddenly struck form and notched up 350+ totals against Pakistan, Netherlands, and New Zealand. The man leading Australia's batting charge in these three games was David Warner, with scores of 163, 104, and 81 to his name.

Mitchell Marsh, Travis Head, and Glenn Maxwell also registered centuries in the games against Pakistan, New Zealand, and Netherlands respectively. Steve Smith, who was struggling with form, also found some runs with his knock of 71 against the Netherlands.

So, the batting unit that was misfiring for so many games finally started delivering on the potential, promise, and experience it had, leading to a winning streak of four games.

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Venues Playing an Important Role

The venues had a lot to do with Australia's poor start and sudden comeback in the tournament. They played their first two matches in Chennai and Lucknow, where the tracks favour spinners.

Playing spin and batting on turning tracks is one of Australia's weaknesses, and that's why they got ambushed by India and South Africa in those two games. Even in the game against Sri Lanka, which was played in Lucknow again, they had to fight hard to chase down 210.

But the tables turned once they moved to venues like Bengaluru, Delhi, and Dharamshala, where the decks are superb for batting and the boundary dimensions are also short. The Australian batters were in their comfort zone now and they took full advantage of that, completely out batting their opposition in these three games.

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After losing their first 2 matches, the Australian team's made a solid comeback winning all their WC matches since.

Bengaluru: Australia's Adam Zampa celebrates after a successful appeal for the LBW of Pakistans Mohammad Rizwan during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 match between Pakistan and Australia at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, in Bengaluru, Friday, Oct. 20, 2023.

(Photo: PTI)

Adam Zampa's Terrific Comeback

Australia's spin bowling stocks are quite low. Adam Zampa is their lead spinner, with Glenn Maxwell playing the supporting cast in most matches. So, it's very important for Zampa to do well for Australia to get hold of their opponents in the middle overs. But that's exactly what they couldn't find in their first couple of games.

Zampa conceded 123 runs in the matches against India and South Africa combined, going at 6.83 runs per over while claiming only one wicket. These numbers are very poor considering that he bowled on spin friendly venues in Chennai and Lucknow. But things changed totally in the next four games as he became completely unplayable.

The wrist-spinner has claimed 15 wickets in the last four matches, going at 12.13 runs per piece and conceding just 5.87 runs per over. These numbers are terrific considering that he has played in venues like Dharamsala, Bengaluru, and Delhi, which are graveyards for spinners nowadays. So, Zampa has single handedly taken the load off Australia's bowling attack in these crucial encounters.

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After losing their first 2 matches, the Australian team's made a solid comeback winning all their WC matches since.

Australia's Juggernaut to Continue

With change in conditions, Australia have established themselves as an unstoppable force once again and their juggernaut is expected to continue as their next three matches are in

Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Pune, venues that offer excellent batting conditions once again.

The opponents they will be facing in these matches are England, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Winning the last two matches should be a cakewalk for Australia considering the form they are in. Their only hurdle could be England, but Jos Buttler and co. are struggling a lot right now, which doesn't hold them in good stead against the Aussies.

So, the road to the semi-finals looks pretty clear for the Australian giants, and now that they have woken up from their slumber, they will bulldoze everything that comes in their way!

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