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ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Australia, quest to regain past glory

Australia Cricket team, which would be led by Steve Smith at the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 this year, won the trophy back-to-back in 2006 and 2009.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: May 24, 2017 12:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Champions Trophy 2017,Australia Cricket team,ICC Champions Trophy
Pacers Mitchell Starc (left) and Pat Cummins (right) will have a huge say in Steve Smith-led Australia cricket team’s fortunes at the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, where conditions are expected to favour the quickies. (Getty Images)

Since January 2016, world champions Australia have played 36 matches, winning 21 and losing 14. Australia are second in the ODI rankings, trailing South Africa but just ahead of India.

  • ICC ODI ranking: 2
  • ODI performance 2016-17: Played 36, won 21, lost 14 (since Jan 2016)

After winning the one off ODI against Ireland, Australia went on to lose 0-5 in a series against hosts South Africa. They are coming off two consecutive losses against hosts New Zealand in the Chappell- Hadlee Trophy.

Champions Trophy track record

Matches: 21; wins: 12; Losses: 7

Gone are the days and players that ensured Australia dominated world cricket, which enabled them to win the Champions Trophy twice in row (2006, 2009). The current side under Steve Smith will look to regain the past glory.

A pace heavy attack led by Mitchell Starc is expected to cash in on the conditions in England but no team can afford things to go wrong in a knockout format. The only surprise selection in the squad has been Moises Henriques while James Faulkner has been dropped.

The form of some of the batsman in IPL will be heartening. Chris Lynn has made a return from shoulder injury for Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab’s Marcus Stoinis is yet to recover from a shoulder injury suffered trying to take a catch during a practice session.

Steven Smith, David Warner and Lynn have been among runs with Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Warner leading the scoring charts.

Grouped with New Zealand, Bangladesh and England, the Aussies start their campaign against the Kiwis on June 2.

Key players

Steve Smith: Leader of the pack, he has been in fine form in ODIs and in the IPL, having replaced MS Dhoni as Rising Pune Supergiant. His 164 against New Zealand in 2016 stands out. Australia will look for inspiring leadership from him in the Champions Trophy.

David Warner: The fiery Australian opener is the right kind of player for any format. An attacking batsman, he can tear apart any attack and his exploits in IPL will help him go into the Champions Trophy full of confidence. The southpaw scored two back-to-back centuries against Pakistan in the last two ODIs he played in January.

Mitchell Starc: The pacer opted out of IPL in order to get fit following a foot fracture and to be recharged for the Champions Trophy. Starc is the leader of the pace back and the left-arm paceman will enjoy the helpful conditions in England. The disconcerting bounce he generates and the unplayable yorkers he bowls makes him key to Australia’s success in the CT.

Squad: Steven Smith (c), David Warner, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Mitchell Strac, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade(WK), Adam Zampa.

First Published: May 22, 2017 20:39 IST