Australia are the defending ODI World Cup Champions, but the bookies don’t consider them to be the favourites to win in 2019 according to the Cricket World Cup odds. William Hill has the Aussies at 5/1 with the hosts England being the favourite at 2/1. Therefore cricket betting fans might think the holders represent excellent value, especially as they have such an impressive World Cup pedigree.
Aussies Turn Around ODI Fortunes In 2019
The Australian ODI team went through a terrible run in 2018 and lost a string of matches. They looked horribly out of form but things turned around for them in 2019. They went to India and beat a strong Indian team to clinch a 5-match ODI series, which was a tremendous feat and gave them the confidence they needed going into the World Cup.
The Aussies will play a final 5 match ODI series against Pakistan before they travel to England for their World Cup. They won the first ODI against Pakistan comfortably and have shown that they still have what it takes to be a major threat to every team at the World Cup.
Smith & Warner Will Return For World Cup?
One of the main reasons why Australia suffered in the last 12 months was that two of their best players were unavailable for selection. Former captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned for 12 months due to their role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
They will be eligible to play for Australia from April 2019 and will get some match practice as both players will be playing in the Indian Premier League. There is no question that the return of Smith and Warner to the ODI side will cause a massive difference as they are two of the best batsmen in the world.
The biggest concern for Australia will be the form of both players as they have not had any international cricket in the last 12 months. It will be up to the Australian selectors to decide if Smith and Warner walk directly into the squad and reclaim the places that they lost
Aaron Finch Will Play A Key Role
Aaron Finch will captain this Australia side and he will have to be on top of his game if Australia is going to lift the World Cup. Finch has struggled at the top of the order but started to find form towards the end of the India series.
Finch started the Pakistan ODI series with a bang and scored a match winning 116 runs which will give him a world of confidence. Finch is one of the most destructive ODI players when in form and it will be interesting to see if he partners David Warner at the top of the order.
The Aussie captain has said that he is willing to drop the order if it provides a better balance to the side. Finch will have the experience of Smith and Warner to help him in England but he is clear that he will be the one making the decisions on the field.
English pitches are known to offer both swing and pace for the quick bowlers and Australia has an abundance of quality pacers. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, Patrick Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jhye Richardson have all performed well for Australia, although the latter is under an injury cloud. The fast-men will play a key role for Australia and it will be interesting to see which fast bowlers make the final cut.
Australia also have two quality spinners in N Lyon and A Zampa. Lyon brings a wealth of experience even though he hasn’t played a lot of ODIs, and the young Zampa has demonstrated great control and wicket taking ability.
Thrown in their all-rounders in G Maxwell and M Stoinis and you have a formidable bowling attack.
Conclusion: While the bookies are not ranking this Australian team as favourites, cricketing pundits know that Aussies have a never-say-die attitude and have the right blend of experience and youth to get themselves to the quarter-finals and pose a serious threat to winning another World Cup.