One of the most dominant cricketing sides in the world, Australia go into the 2019 Cricket World Cup as third-favourites behind England and India.
The Baggy Greens hold the record for the most World Cup wins with five, having won it in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015. Here, we take a look at their World Cup successes.
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Australia failed to win the first three editions of the Cricket World Cup, but they came into the 1987 World Cup determined to change this.
The competition was hosted by India and Pakistan and the Baggy Greens were drawn in group A against co-hosts India, as well as New Zealand and Zimbabwe and would play each nation twice.
India were the first opponents for Australia, and the Aussies set the standard by scoring 270 for 6 in 50 overs. Although the co-hosts put in a valiant effort they were cruelly denied on the final ball, scoring 269 all out in 49.5 overs. It was an incredible start to the tournament and set the tone for group A.
India won the second match by 56 runs, and both Australia and India finished with five wins and one loss. The hosts finished top because of their superior run rate, leaving Australia in second and setting up a semi-final match against other hosts Pakistan.
Australia again produced the goods and scored 267 for 6, winning by 18 runs. With England winning the other semi-final, both hosts were knocked out and the arch-rivals would battle it out, with the winner claiming their first World Cup.
In the toss, Australia won and elected to bat first. Thanks to David Boon, who scored 75 from 125 balls, Australia posted a score of 253 from 50 overs, with five wickets. Although England responded well, they were unable to overhaul the Baggy Greens’ total, losing by seven runs.
No other country has ever won more than two World Cups, and while it’s more than likely another team will eventually reach three, it’s highly unlikely that another team will win three in row – something that Australia achieved by winning the 1999, 2003 and 2007 World Cups.
Even more impressive is the fact that they defeated a different country on each of the three wins. In 1999, hosted by England, they defeated Pakistan by eight wickets. In 2003, they tore India apart, winning by 125 runs in Johannesburg. 2007 saw them beat Sri Lanka to make it three in a row and four overall, winning by 53 runs thanks to the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.
For only the second time in Cricket World Cup history, Australia was co-hosting the tournament with New Zealand. When they last hosted it, back in 1992, they were eliminated in the round-robin stage, finishing in fifth, just a point off a place in the semi-finals.
In 2015, it was a different Australia side, one that had tasted more success and had built up a reputation for dominant displays in the World Cup. The two hosts – Australia and New Zealand – were both drawn in pool A, and they finished in the top two positions, but it was New Zealand who managed to finish in the top spot.
Australia then met Pakistan in the quarter-finals, defeating them with relative ease, and setting up a match with defending champions India. Australia took the fight to India, setting the pace with a total of 328 runs and seven wickets. India lost by 95 runs after only managing 233 runs all out.
The two hosts came face-to-face once again in the final, but this time it was Australia who came out on top, winning by seven wickets at Melbourne Cricket Ground, making them champions for a record fifth time.