After a forgettable start, can Australia change their fortunes in CWC 2023? Why Australia yet to find their momentum in World Cup 2023?
Australia have undoubtedly been one of the best teams when it comes to cricket. Despite being the most successful team in World Cup history - with five title wins - Australia had a disastrous start to the CWC 2023.
After two consecutive defeats, Australia finally managed to get a win over Sri Lanka and are currently sitting at the 6th spot in the points table. The five-time champions injected some lift into their moribund World Cup campaign with the comprehensive five-wicket win over Lanka.
Australia played a preparatory ODI series before the CWC
Before the World Cup started, Australia played a three-match ODI series in India ahead of the marquee fifty-over tournament. In the series against India, Australia were not in the best of their form with a few key players not playing and some of them being out of form before the series. Hence they struggled against India's spin attack and lost the series 2-1.
The team that invariably plays their best game when it matters the most had one of its poorest outings in recent times. They also didn’t seem to be in sync in the first two matches of the ongoing World Cup.
Australia’s disappointing start to the World Cup campaign
In their first game against India in Chennai, the Australia side was all-out for just 199 runs. This also marked their first defeat in an opening World Cup game since 1992. Their batters didn’t look confident at any point during the match.
Australia have a major problem in their bowling unit too, they have picked just one specialist spinner - Adam Zampa - for a World Cup which is being played in India.
In the second innings, the new ball swung a bit and Hazelwood and Starc reduced India to 2/3 but that’s when the dew started to settle in and bowling got a bit difficult. Zampa and part-time spinner Glenn Maxwell couldn’t pick a single wicket against India and it made them to lose their opening game.
Biggest loss for the Aussies in the World Cup history
Even after a disappointing start to the tournament their performance did not improve in the next match against South Africa. They lost the match by 134-runs - making it their biggest loss in World Cup history. In the second game too the batters let them down as they got all-out with just 177 runs on the board.
Their openers were completely out of form, and even the Aussie bowlers too didn’t seem to be in good touch - as they conceded 311 runs against the Proteas after opting to bowl first.
Besides this, Australia also had a poor day on the field in both the matches which sent alarm bells ringing in the camp. They dropped some crucial catches and misfields also happened in both the games.
The fans didn’t get to see the Australia they wanted or the one which they are used to in the two matches. These matches definitely hurt the Aussies but they are mentally resilient. They know how to come back stronger and the team has the potential to turn things around as the tournament progresses.
Recovered from two defeats and beat Sri Lanka to get the winning momentum
After two initial losses, skipper Pat Cummins said that the team is eager to turn things around and regain its winning form. In the next match against Sri Lanka, the Australia side played really well and won their first game in World Cup 2023.
Though Sri Lanka started on a good note, Cummins gave them a jolt by taking the wickets of both their openers. His spell was a bit of a game changer for the Aussies and his energy in the field motivated the entire team.
With the skipper leading from the front, the other players too joined the party - playing pivotal roles in the victory. Spinner Adam Zampa came out ahead of all bowlers with four wickets to his name. With the bowlers getting the rhythm, the batters too got their form back. All-rounder Marsh also had a welcome return to form with a half-century after making a total of just 7 runs in the previous two matches. Apart from him, Inglish also scored a helping fifty & Labuschagne also got his form back.
This victory against Sri Lanka in Lucknow must have boosted their confidence & will give Australia some room to move after they dropped their first two games at the tournament and risked crashing out of contention for the knockout stage with another loss.
The team has the winning momentum with the players also getting their form back. The Aussies batters are doing great with the bat, the bowlers seem to have found their touch, the fielding got better, and the team is looking more confident now.
With 6 matches left for them in the league stage, there is a hope for the Cummins-led team to stage a turnaround from here.
The five-time champions will play their next match against Pakistan on October 20. They would like to continue their winning momentum from hereon as every game is very crucial for them.