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Undisputed ODI Champions: Australia’s three consecutive World Cup wins from 1999 to 2007

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The Australian cricket team has won the ICC Cricket World Cup three times in a row. After winning in 1999, they also won in 2003 and 2007. In fact, they are the only team to have won an unprecedented, three-consecutive World Cups till now after the inaugural event in 1975. 

From 1999 to 2007, Australia were inarguably the most dominant cricket team in One-Day International (ODI) cricket. Such was the dominance of the Australian 50-over outfit that they even remained unbeaten in the 2003 and 2007 editions of the ICC Cricket World Cup. 

While Steve Waugh led them in England in the year 1999, it was Ricky Ponting who captained his country in South Africa in 2003 and later in the West Indies in 2007. Australia are also the only nation to have won five World Cups till now. They first tasted World Cup success in 1987 and their last victory came in 2015 in front of their home crowd. 

1999 Cricket World Cup 

 

If only South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs had not celebrated too soon and dropped the catch of Australian captain Steve Waugh at Leeds in the super-six stage, the Proteas would have knocked out Australia from the 1999 World Cup in England. However, despite staring at a premature exit, Australia rallied under Steve Waugh to miraculously get into the finals of the event at Lord’s.

Against Pakistan in the finals, Australia perhaps delivered their most clinical performance with both bat and ball. After bowling out Pakistan for a paltry score of 132, Australia comprehensively beat Pakistan by eight wickets to win their third ODI World Cup. Leg-spinner Shane Warne was declared the man of the match for his four-wicket haul in the finals. Spin wizard Warne also finished the event as the joint highest wicket-taker (20) along with New Zealand’s Geoff Allott.

2003 Cricket World Cup 

 

Although Australia’s World Cup defence in 2003 in South Africa started with a major hiccup after legendary Shane Warne was slapped with a ban for doping allegations in Johannesburg, skipper Ricky Ponting swiftly marshalled his troops to begin an unbeaten streak. The defending champions kept brushing aside one challenge after another to reach the finals of the event.

In the finals, Ponting with a match-winning knock of unbeaten 140 led the way for this country and set up a daunting total of 359. In the end, India lost the game by a colossal 125-run margin to give Australia their second consecutive and third overall World Cup win. Ponting was adjudged the man of the match for his heroics with the willow. It was Australia’s first-ever World Cup win without losing a single game. 

2007 Cricket World Cup 

 

Under Ricky Ponting, Australia came into the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean as the overwhelming favourites. In fact, many experts had billed them to repeat their heroics of 1999 and 2003. While other countries struggled to get their combination and desired results, the men from Down Under appeared a settled unit, with match-winners galore from top to bottom. Once again, Ponting’s men reached the finals and this time it was Sri Lanka who had to bear the brunt of Australia’s juggernaut at Barbados.

After being quiet for the whole tournament, wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist with the help of a squash ball, under his gloves, squashed Sri Lanka’s hopes with a brilliant 149. In the end, Australia won the game comfortably by 53 runs. For the second time in a row, the Aussies won the World Cup having remained unbeaten in the competition. While Gilchrist walked away with the man of the match award, legendary Glenn McGrath was adjudged as the man of the series.

Teams with most ICC Cricket World Cup titles 

                    Teams 

                            Year 

                  Australia 

        1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015 

                West Indies 

                    1975, 1979

                      India 

                    1983, 2015 

 

Featured photo: SAEED KHAN/ MARTIN HAYHOW /YOAV LEMMER /ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP



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