Australia wanting one-day wins when they matter the most

‘I believe the team winning the World Cup is the No.1 team in the world’: Michael Clarke. Photo: James AlcockAustralia’s peerless record of victories over the past four years will, their captain hopes, be the basis for the type of success in the World Cup that has eluded them in the past two major one-day tournaments.
杭州龙凤

Since India won the 2011 World Cup – having eliminated Australia in the quarter-finals – Australia have won a world-best 57.8 per cent of their 83 matches, just ahead of India’s 57.6 per cent. Their record is even better since the 2013 Champions Trophy, in which India also triumphed, having won 64.7 per cent of their matches. That is more than South Africa (60 per cent), Sri Lanka (54.4 per cent), India (54 per cent) and New Zealand (50 per cent), and the rest. England have won just 37.1 per cent.

Despite that record, and occupying the top one-day ranking for the majority of time since the 2011 World Cup, captain Michael Clarke said he placed greater stock in what happened when results mattered most: in the World Cup.

“I believe the team winning the World Cup . . . is the No.1 team in the world,” he said on Friday.

Australia have been the defending champions in the past two ICC tournaments – the 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy – yet not made the semi-finals of either. They finished last in their group in the latter, losing to England and Sri Lanka, and had their match against New Zealand washed out. Since then they have won five of their seven series, with the exceptions being the 3-2 away loss to India in late 2013 and falling to South Africa in the final of last year’s tri-series in Zimbabwe.

Clarke said he hoped Australia’s positive recent record “helps us with momentum and confidence going into a major tournament”.

“You need to build momentum through the tournament, but you [also] need to have consistent success,” he said. “Hopefully [because of] how we’ve performed over the past couple of years we can take that confidence into this tournament. But we need to be at our best.”

The captain predicted if Australia could be the best fielding team in the World Cup, that would “go a long way to having success”.

He gave no hint as to who would partner Mitch Starc bowling at the death for Australia for the duration of James Faulkner’s absence with injury, other than to say he thought the team’s all-rounders – Shane Watson, Mitch Marsh and Glenn Maxwell – were all contenders.

“I think they’ve all had experience, especially in the shorter format, the Twenty20 stuff,” he said. “We’ve got the talent there, that’s for sure. It’s just about practice now, plenty of work on our death stuff and execution.

“I’m confident any of the guys – all-rounders or the specialist bowlers – can play that role [in the batting powerplay and late in innings].”

Clarke also said he was not reading much into India’s failure to reach the final of the recent tri-series. He reckoned having spent more than two months in Australia will benefit them, as will their status as defending champions.

“I think they’ll see it as a fresh start [after the Tests and tri-series],” Clarke said.

“They’ve had success in major tournaments, so they’ll take confidence from that.

“I’ve no doubt India are going to be one of the toughest teams in this competition to beat.”

Australia and India meet in a day-night practice match at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

ONE-DAY WONDERSWinning percentages of ICC full members in 50-over matches since the completion of the 2013 Champions Trophy. 64.7% – Australia: 34 matches, 22 wins, 9 losses, 0 ties, 3 no result. 60% – South Africa: 40 matches, 24 wins, 14 losses, 0 ties, 2 no result. 54.4% – Sri Lanka: 57 matches, 31 wins, 24 losses, 0 ties, 2 no result. 54% – India: 50 matches, 27 wins, 18 losses, 1 tie, 4 no result. 50% – New Zealand: 32 matches, 16 wins, 12 losses, 1 tie, 3 no result. 43.6% – Pakistan: 39 matches, 17 wins, 21 losses, 1 tie, 0 no result. 41.9% – West Indies: 31 matches, 13 wins, 17 losses, 1 tie, 0 no result. 38.1% – Bangladesh: 21 matches, 8 wins, 12 losses, 0 ties, 1 no result. 37.1% – England: 35 matches. 13 wins, 21 losses, 0 ties, 1 no result. 16.7% – Zimbabwe: 24 matches, 4 wins, 20 losses, 0 ties, 0 no result.

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