Australia are no strangers to momentous wins. Record-champions of the tournament, the Aussies will be bidding for a sixth ICC Cricket World Cup title when they play hosts India in the 2023 final on Sunday, November 19, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. While home comforts and form suggest that the Men in Blue will have the upper hand for the trophy bout, if only marginally, history remains on the side of the visitors, who have rarely disappointed their fans from this position in the past. (Streaming | Scorecard | Full Coverage)
Australia's World Cup 2023 campaign started with disparaging back-to-back defeats but they have since steadied the ship - and then some. The Aussies enter the final on the back of eight successive wins and some sensational individual performances. Here are the five best performers for Australia at the World Cup.
Now 37, Australian talisman David Warner remains as reliable as ever. Warner has opened the batting all tournament for the Aussies and scored runs at a consistent and progressive rate. He has tallied 528 runs in ten games, averaging just over 50 runs per match at his current rate.
Australia's former captain has also retained his explosiveness despite his age; he has hit 24 sixes in the tournament so far, four fewer than leader Rohit Sharma and tied with second-placed Shreyas Iyer. Should Australia need a fast start on Sunday, Warner, again, will be their go-to man for the same.
The responsibility of batting higher up the order has only benefitted Mitchell Marsh, who, at number three, remains a significant presence in the Australian top order. Marsh has averaged 53 runs per game in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, having scored 426 from nine outings after missing one through personal reasons.
Marsh was at his brilliant best against Bangladesh in Australia's final game of the league stage. The batter scored an unbeaten 177 off 132 balls, helping the Aussies reach a target that had previously seemed insurmountable.
One of the defining images of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 had Glenn Maxwell staged centre, the ball flying off his bat into the night, and a raucous Wankhede at its feet. Maxwell, limping, bruised, battered, yet determined, a tall presence against a bewildered Afghanistan attack, had scored 201 unbeaten, dragging Australia from the jaws of defeat to victory and confirming their spot in the knockouts. Maxwell's double ton was the tournament's highest individual score, but the process through which he had achieved it, more than the sheer outrageousness of the numbers, meant that his knock was to go down in history.
The 200-so included, Maxwell has scored 398 runs in the competition in eight games.
Before Mohammed Shami's heroics against New Zealand, Adam Zampa led the charts for the most prolific bowler of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. With just one wicket the difference between Zampa and Shami, the former could still finish top of the list, should things go his way on Sunday.
Zampa has claimed 22 scalps in the ODI World Cup 2023, breaking the record for most in a single World Cup edition by an Australian spinner. Surviving him at the Narendra Modi Stadium would be one of the key targets in the Indian camps' mins, such has been his effectiveness in the tournament.
Often unheralded, Josh Hazlewood has quietly contributed to the Australian campaign at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, staying out of the limelight while his compatriots, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Adam Zampa, hog the headlines. Yet, wickets have come consistently for the pacer; he has claimed 14 in the competition so far, giving away just 389 runs in the process.
In fact, his economy of under five runs per over is one of the best in the tournament. He has helped keep the opposition batters in check, slowly tightening the rope around their legs until they are finally caught unaware into surrendering their wicket.