Australia are far ahead at the top in the ICC ODI rankings and there’s a good reason for it. Since the last 50-over World Cup in 2017, they have played 33 One-Day Internationals and lost two (yes just two, of those matches). This period also included a sensational world record 26-match winning streak.
Heading into the 2022 edition of the ICC Women’s ODI Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, Meg Lanning and Co are the firm favourites to hand Australia a record-extending seventh title. Even if the legendary Aussie captain wants to play it down saying all teams start on zero points, there is no denying that she has built a side that is a cut above the rest.
Since their semi-final defeat to India in 2017, Australia have further cemented their position at the top of the white-ball game, winning the T20 World Cup in West Indies at 2018 and also at home in 2020.
No other team entering the tournament has been nearly as dominant as Australia in the last five years. Since the last World Cup in 2017, there have been eight instances of Australia sweeping a three-match ODI series. Most recently, the six-time champs saw their 26-match winning streak being broken by India but they bounced back and defeated England 3-0 in the Ashes. Perhaps the only thing you could point in the recent form is that defeat against India was also preceded by a near defeat, and they looked a bit wobbly in the warm-ups as well.
Australia comfortably beat the West Indies in their first warm-up match before falling to a nine-wicket loss to New Zealand and one of the bright spots for Lanning’s side will not feature tomorrow.
Ashleigh Gardner has been ruled out of at least the first two of Australia’s World Cup matches after testing positive for Covid having made 60 from 32 balls against the hosts but Lanning feels confident in her side’s depth.
“We are all supportive of Ash and in terms of the lineup tomorrow, we are still working through what exactly that looks like,” she said.
“Annabel Sutherland has been bowling and batting extremely well so she’s an option there. Nic Carey, as well, has played some really good innings for Australia and bowled some good overs as well.
“So we feel like we’ve got options, we just need to decide what exactly that might look like.”
Records of all 8 teams since CWC 2017
|Team||Mat||Won||Lost||Tied||NR||W/L||Scoring rate||Highest score||Lowest score|
Australia's ODI results since Jan 1 2021
|AUS||won||6 wickets||v NZ||Mount Maunganui||4 Apr 2021|
|AUS||won||71 runs||v NZ||Mount Maunganui||7 Apr 2021|
|AUS||won||21 runs||v NZ||Mount Maunganui||10 Apr 2021|
|AUS||won||9 wickets||v India||Mackay||21 Sep 2021|
|AUS||won||5 wickets||v India||Mackay||24 Sep 2021|
|AUS||lost||2 wickets||v India||Mackay||26 Sep 2021|
|AUS||won||27 runs||v ENG||Canberra||3 Feb 2022|
|AUS||won||5 wickets||v ENG||Melbourne||6 Feb 2022|
|AUS||won||8 wickets||v ENG||Melbourne||8 Feb 2022|
Australia captain Meg Lanning:
“There’s always nerves heading into the first game. There’s been a pretty big build up over the last few weeks in particular, and even over the last sort of few years, it’s been something we’ve had our eye on. So yeah, there’s nerves within the group, but I think every team would say that, but you know, there’s excitement as well. I think we’ve done enough preparation, we feel as good and as ready as we can be. And now it’s about putting it out on the park in the big moments. And that’s how you win a World Cup.
“I think we do have a lot of experience in World Cups and performing under pressure and what that looks like. And I think if anything, we’ve learned to really try and focus on how we can best prepare and play. And, of course, we look at the opposition and what their strengths and weaknesses are. But at the end of the day, I think if you go out there and really play to your potential and strengths, then that’s going to give you the best chance of winning.”
“I think in terms of the high scoring games, I think there’s a very high chance that we’ll see 300+ scores throughout this tournament particularly early on, I think, while the pitchers are fresh and teams are fresh as well. So that’s exciting. I think that’s the way the game has been going for the last few years. And you know, that’s just going to create a really great product that hopefully people enjoy watching and as players will enjoy playing in so it’s a sign that there’s going to be some great games ahead.”
History at the tournament
Best result(s): Winners 1978, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2005, 2013
The most successful nation in ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup history, Australia have lifted the trophy six times and won 70 of their 84 matches along the way.
Victory on home soil in 1988 was Australia’s third in a row and the star bowler from that all-conquering era, Lynn Fulston, remains the competition’s leading overall wicket-taker with 39 to her name.
More recently, Karen Rolton’s fine form with the bat in 2005 earned her the Player of the Tournament prize while Meg Lanning averaged 82.00 in 2017.
Players to watch out for
Ellyse Perry: Ellyse Perry has dominated with bat and ball at ICC Women’s World Cups since 2009.
The all-rounder has made 510 runs at an average of 56.66, ending not out seven times in 16 innings, while her 26 wickets have come at an average of 25.07.
Her best bowling performance of three for 19 came against the West Indies in the 2013 World Cup Final.
Megan Schutt: Megan Schutt has taken one fewer wicket than Perry but brought up her quarter-century of wickets at just two World Cups.
At her debut tournament in 2013, the right-arm seamer took a competition-high 15 wickets and backed it up four years later with 10 more meaning she heads to New Zealand with an average of just 22.16.
Darcie Brown: Between March and September of 2021, Darcie Brown made her T20I, ODI and Test debut for Australia and also earned a whole host of fans, particularly in the 50-over format.
In just four one-day matches, Brown has taken nine wickets at an incredible average of 15.11 with two four-wicket hauls.
Her best figures came against India last autumn where she took four for 33 in a player-of-the-match performance.
Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda-Jade Wellington.
Travelling reserves: Heather Graham, Georgia Redmayne
- AUSTRALIA vs ENGLAND, Sat 05 March 06:30 am IST, Seddon Park, Hamilton
- AUSTRALIA vs PAKISTAN, Tue 08 March 06:30 am IST, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
- NEW ZEALAND vs AUSTRALIA, Sun 13 March 03:30 am IST, Basin Reserve, Wellington
- AUSTRALIA vs WEST INDIES, Tue 15 March 03:30 am IST, Basin Reserve, Wellington
- INDIA vs AUSTRALIA, Sat 19 March 06:30 am IST, Eden Park, Auckland
- SOUTH AFRICA vs AUSTRALIA, Tue 22 March 03:30 am IST, Basin Reserve, Wellington
- BANGLADESH vs AUSTRALIA, Fri 25 March 03:30 am IST, Basin Reserve, Wellington
Excerpts for this article taken from ICC Online Media Zone (Courtesy: ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020)