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ICC World Cup 2019 | Australia Are Winning Without Playing Their Best Cricket: Border

Australia might have won three out of their four encounters in the 2019 World Cup but former skipper Allan Border believes the Aaron Finch-led side are yet to hit their stride, something the other teams should be worried about.

Cricketnext Staff |June 13, 2019, 10:23 AM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | Australia Are Winning Without Playing Their Best Cricket: Border

Australia might have won three out of their four encounters in the 2019 World Cup but former skipper Allan Border believes the Aaron Finch-led side are yet to hit their stride, something the other teams should be worried about.

After beating Afghanistan and West Indies, Australia were outclassed by India. The five-time champions weren't at their best against Pakistan on Wednesday but still managed to clinch a 41-run win in Taunton.

"Australia aren’t playing at their best but they are winning matches - that’s the way I saw the win over Pakistan. They hung in there, rode out some pressure and came out with the victory," Border wrote in his column for ICC.

"The bottom line is there's room for improvement from Justin Langer’s team, and that's a good thing that will only worry every other side in this World Cup."

Border was pretty impressed with David Warner who scored his first international century since his return from the one-year ban. The 63-year-old is not worried about Warner taking some time to settle in, but feels that the middle order needs to bat more "smartly".

From 189 for 1, Australia were bundled out for 307 in 49 overs. If not for their openers, Australia could have ended up on the opposite side of the spectrum.

"You can't knock the innings David Warner played. A few people have been saying he's scoring too slowly, but the ball was doing a bit and there was a little bit of swing and seam. He was typically belligerent and upped the scoring rate. Aaron Finch was his usual aggressive self, hitting the ball here, there and everywhere."

"In the middle overs, Australia need to be a bit smarter. When you get a flying start, like they did at Taunton, you’re desperate to keep that momentum going and it’s hard to do. Someone has to be prepared to just knock the ball around for a few overs but Pakistan didn’t really let them do that."

"I’ve got no problem with batting Glenn Maxwell at four, given the start Australia had. He’s so dangerous. He might not stick around, like Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja or Shaun Marsh, but he can take the game away from you and I think his team understands that a bit more than they did in the past."

Border was happy with the way things have been operating in the bowling department but still feels Australia should have gone with Adam Zampa or someone like Smith.

"The bowlers did the job up front. Pat Cummins bowled fantastically well and that's a good sign, that him and Mitchell Starc are carrying the fight at the top.

"The fifth, and even the fourth, bowling option is looking like a slight concern for them. Nathan Coulter-Nile bowled pretty well and got the big wicket of Babar, while Kane Richardson was a bit expensive.

"I think they should look at Steve Smith having a bowl, I really do. Leg spin takes wickets and whether it’s Adam Zampa coming back in or Smith trying a bit of his spin, that should improve the attack dramatically."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more