Cricket World Cup 2019: Australia’s record at the World Cup from 1975 to 2015
Australia have won the world cup a record five times (Agencies)

They are the true giants of ODI cricket. Their record at the ODI World Cups is a testament to that. A seven-time finalists, Australia have lifted the trophy a record five times out of 11 attempts. Their first title win came in 1987 before they bulldozed their way to a hat-trick of titles between 1999 and 2007.

England’s record at the World Cup from 1975 to 2015

As they launch their latest bid to extend their record at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to be held in England from May 30 to July 14, we recap how past Australia teams have fared at the showpiece event.

Prudential World Cup 1975

At the inaugural edition, Australia expectedly put up a strong show. They beat the likes of Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the group stage before running into West Indies. They were soundly beaten by the West Indies in their final group match but made it to the semis by finishing second. They faced fierce rivals England for a place in the final and Australian Gary Gilmour put up a show finishing with the then record-figures of 6/14. England were shot out for 93 and Gilmour had to put up a rescue act with the bat to seal a four-wicket win. In the final, West Indies captain Clive Lloyd scored century to drive his team to 291/8. Australia replied with 274-all out ending as the runners-up.

Pakistan’s record at the World Cup from 1975 to 2015

Prudential World Cup 1979

A disastrous tournament for the Aussies. They failed to progress beyond the group stage. Place alongside England, Pakistan and Canada, they lost their opening two fixtures before avoiding an absolute humiliation in their final match. England restricted them to 159/9 in 60 overs before a Graham Gooch’s half-century sealed a six-wicket win. Against Pakistan, chasing 287, they were bowled out for 197. Alan Hurst then took a five-wicket haul as minnows Canada were skittled for 105 which they overhauled in 26 overs.

Prudential World Cup 1983

A different format was introduced with four teams divided into two groups. Each team played other twice. Australia were stunned by world cup debutant Zimbabwe in their opener before defending champion West Indies humiliated them further with a 101-run win. Stung by the embarrassment, they bounced back to record a big win over India followed by a 32-run win over Zimbabwe. However, West Indies continued to be their Achilles heels who completed the double over them before eventual champions India knocked them out in the group stage itself.

Reliance World Cup 1987

The tournament moved out of England for the first time and Indian subcontinent played host. The format remained the same as 1983 except the contest now lasted 50 overs. Australia began their charge with a one-run win over hosts India. They won all but one of their five matches as India topped the group on the basis of a better run-rate. In fact, India and Pakistan, the co-hosts entered the semis after topping their respective groups. However, Australia got the better of Pakistan in Lahore and England knocked out defending champions India in the other semi-final. The two rivals played out a memorable final in front of a packed Eden Gardens. Opener David Boon top-scored with 75 as Australia posted 253/5. In reply, Bill Athey (58) and Allan Lamb (45) kept England in the hunt before Allan Border’s men won by seven runs for their maiden title glory.

Benson & Hedges World Cup 1992

Coloured clothing, white ball, floodlights. One-day cricket underwent massive change as the Australia hosted the fifth edition of the quadrennial event. But amidst the hoopla, the hosts, after the high of 1987, failed to make the knockouts for the third time in their history. The format was changed to a round-robin stage with each team playing the other once and the top-four advancing to the semi-finals. After losing their first two matches, Australia revived their claim with a narrow one-run win over India. However, winning three of their remaining five matches including a first-ever win over West Indies in the tournament wasn’t enough for a top-four finish. With four wins and as many defeats, the defending champions bowed out, finishing fifth in the points table.

Wills World Cup 1996

Australia lost two of their group matches – one for their refusal to be in Sri Lanka for security reasons and the other to old nemesis West Indies. However, three wins were enough for them to enter the quarterfinals in yet another rejigged format. Waugh brothers – Mark and Steve – starred in a six-wicket win over trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand to setup semi-final date with West Indies whom they just about managed to beat entering a third final. Final was scheduled to be played in Lahore and as luck would have it, Sri Lanka were their opponents. An all-round show from Aravinda de Silva sealed a fairy-tale ending for the Sri Lanka who won their first ever world cup trophy.

ICC World Cup 1999

The start of absolute domination. Steve Waugh, after the 1996 heartbreak, led Australia to their second ever world cup triumph in England. Yet another format change as Super-Six stage was introduced. Australia lost to New Zealand and Pakistan but beat West Indies, Bangladesh and Scotland to enter the next round. Unbeaten in the Super-Six, Australia made to the semis where they met South Africa. In a world cup classic, the two teams played out a nerve-shredding tie, but Australia made the final on account of their higher position in the Super Six stage. The final turned out to be a drab affair with Australia pummelling Pakistan by eight wickets.

ICC World Cup 2003

Africa hosted the tournament for the first time and a record 14 teams were in the fray. Teams of the likes of England, South Africa, Pakistan and West Indies exited in the group stage. However, under Ricky Ponting, Australia made short work of their opponents en route to an unbeaten tun to a second straight title and third overall. Barring England, they hardly dropped a sweat while winning all six of their group A matches. The story continued in the Super Six stage too and after beating Sri Lanka via DLS in the semis, the blew away India in the final. Captain Ponting starred with a century powering Australia to 359/2 and India were bowled out for 234.

ICC World Cup 2007

The carnival moved to the Caribbean islands. 16 teams participated for the silverware. While Australia completed a hat-trick of titles stamping their authority, the tournament is remembered for all the wrong reasons. India and Pakistan suffered stunning defeats to bow out in the group stage itself. Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room and the final between Australia and Sri Lanka ended in controversial circumstances. The match was already reduced to 38-overs-a-side due to rain before being suspended due to bad light with Sri Lanka chasing 282. Eventually, after some confusion, play resumed, and Australia completed 53-run win under darkness.

ICC World Cup 2011

Considering the standards Australia have set for themselves, for them anything but a title is a failure. Despite boasting of an illustrious record, Ponting was so upset at Australia’s quarterfinals exit at the 2011 World Cup that he immediately stepped down as the ODI captain. This after the all-conquering Aussies had been unbeaten in two editions of the tournament. They weren’t the clear favourites despite being three-time defending champions. But they made the last-eight after losing just one match in their group – a defeat to Pakistan which ended their 34-match unbeaten streak at the World Cup. In the quarterfinals, Ponting broke his century draught but a combined batting display from India saw them being dethroned marking the end of an era.

ICC World Cup 2015

Under the captaincy of Michael Clarke, Australia regained the trophy for a record fifth time. Again, they weren’t the overwhelming favourites, but they performed like a champion team. They slipped against New Zealand in the group stage but quickly recovered to enter the quarterfinals with a sky-high confidence. Pakistan were beaten easily and then they vanquished India to exact revenge. A dream final was set-up with co-host New Zealand but on-field it was a lopsided affair. New Zealand were bundled out for 183 and the overhauled it with seven wickets to spare.