Thursday, February 05, 2015

CWC 2015: Team to watch - Australia

If there’s one clear favourite with everything going for them, it’s Australia. Australia are the favourites for the tournament – whichever way you look at it (albeit emotionally). They play their “A game” every time irrespective of their opponent. They have won the World Cup more times than any other team. Their players all are in top form – Steven Smith, George Bailey, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, David Warner etc. Michael Clarke is on track to return to full fitness and will be ready for the World Cup. These are all world class players and are capable of turning a match on its head! They have been on a winning streak and have momentum going into a World cup which will be played at their own backyard. What more can you ask for?

Recent ODI Form – last 12 months *
Australia team stats - Recent Form in ODI Cricket (last 12 months)

Form in Australia – last 24 months *
Australia team stats - Recent Form in ODI Cricket in Australia (last 24 months)

Form in ODI World Cup events *
Australia Cricket team statistic- Form in ODI World Cup events
You don’t need to be a data scientist (although you wouldn’t mind being one considering the prospects) to know why Australia are the top team to beat and clear-cut favourites. They have a win / loss ratio of 3 over the last one year and are way ahead of 2nd placed team, South Africa, with 2.28 wins / loss. In fact, only two teams have a win / loss ratio that half as better as Australia – South Africa and India (1.75). That’s how far they are ahead of competition. Back home, they are head and shoulders above the rest with a won / loss ratio of 8. And needless to say, World Cup has been their forte with 4 cups out of a possible 10 – that’s a massive 40% of the times they have emerged champions, followed by India and West Indies with half of Australia’s achievements.

SWOT Analysis – 
  • Strengths – 
    • Form and momentum
    • Home conditions
    • In-form players
    • History of winning the big events 
  • Weaknesses – 
    • High expectations
    • Possibility of getting carried away
  • Opportunities – 
    • Relatively less competition till the semi-finals
    • Top opposition teams having mixed results
  • Threats – 
    • Lower placed teams are capable of causing shocks
    • Knockouts don’t rely on past results

A world cup at home, a form worth flaunting, momentum that opposition craves for, key players in top form – Australia has all that and more as they enter the World Cup arena. Australia have won the World Cup event a record 4 times but never at home. Is this the motivation they need? I expect Australia to win their pool, win against a lower team from the next pool in the quarter-finals and safely reach the semi-finals. This is where I think their real test starts. But then, by that time, they are just two games away from winning the World Cup in their backyard. That makes them clear-cut favourites to win the event. If you are a rational Cricket fan, there’s no way you can bet against this team. Australia may just be the team to rise down under.

Click here to view all the posts on Cricket World Cup 2015

* The above statistics have been compiled using for the duration of 1 year or 2 years (based on the statistic) till 31st Jan 2015.

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