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Cricket World Cup: Australia's path to the final

The Cricket World Cup in India have a very easy to understand set-up, with all 10 teams involved playing a in single group to try and clinch a place in the semi-finals.

Australia have won the competition a record five times and will be hoping to extend that record to six in India, having fallen at the semi-final stage to eventual champions England in 2019.

Their path to the final is a fairly simple one to map out, win as many matches as possible in the hectic group stage and then get the job done in one of the two semi-finals, which will be staged in Mumbai and Kolkata.

What2023 Cricket World Cup
WhereIndia
WhenThursday 5th October - Sunday 19th November, 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsIndia 3.20, England 4.00, Australia 5.50, Pakistan 7.50, New Zealand 8.50 

Toughest of openers

Australia open up against hosts India in Chennai and it is hard to imagine a more difficult task to face when beginning their bid for a sixth World Cup triumph.

12 previous World Cup meetings between these two teams have produced eight wins for the Baggy Greens and four for India, who earned a 36-run victory at The Oval four years ago.

Next up is a clash with South Africa in Lucknow, with the Proteas having struck a psychological blow by coming from 2-0 down to win their recent ODI series 3-2 on home soil.

South Africa triumphed by 10 runs at Old Trafford in 2019, while the most famous clash between the two sides came in the 1999 semi-finals, when a dramatic finish saw the game at Edgbaston tied, leaving Australia to progress to the final on the basis of their higher finish in the Super Six stage.

Three days after South Africa, Sri Lanka are the next opponents, again in Lucknow, and four days on from that match, Australia take on Pakistan in Bengaluru.

The Baggy Greens will expect to see off the Netherlands in Delhi on Wednesday 25th October and will then get ready for a showdown with neighbours New Zealand in Dharamsala three days later.

Australia thrashed the Black Caps by seven wickets in the final of the 2015 World Cup and then downed the Kiwis by 86 runs when they met at Lord’s in the group stage four years later - although it was New Zealand who eventually went on to reach the final.

Andrew McDonald’s side will then get a full week to prepare for a clash with World Cup holders England in Ahmedabad on Saturday 4th November, with their fierce rivals having dished out an eight-wicket defeat in the semi-finals four years ago.

Having faced all the so-called 'major' nations, Australia will hope to make up for any slip-ups by seeing off Afghanistan and Bangladesh in their final two games and then prepare for semi-final action if they have finished in the top four in the group standings.

Group fixtures
Sunday 8th October: India v Australia, Chennai
Friday 13th October: Australia v South Africa, Lucknow
Monday 16th October: Australia v Sri Lanka, Lucknow
Friday 20th October: Australia v Pakistan, Bengaluru
Wednesday 25th October: Australia v Netherlands, Delhi
Saturday 28th October: Australia v New Zealand, Dharamsala
Saturday 4th November: England v Australia, Ahmedabad
Tuesday 7th November: Australia v Afghanistan, Mumbai
Sunday 12th November: Australia v Bangladesh, Pune

Semi-finals
Wednesday 15th November: 1st-placed team v 4th-placed team, Mumbai
Thursday 16th November: 2nd-placed team v 3rd-placed team, Kolkata

Final
Sunday 19th November: Semi-final 1 winners v Semi-final 2 winners, Ahmedabad

Success started in India

Having been runners-up at the first World Cup back in 1975, Australia first claimed the trophy in 1987, with that success coming in India under the inspirational leadership of Allan Border.

A 1996 final loss to Sri Lanka was followed by three consecutive triumphs, in 1999, 2003 and 2007, before Michael Clarke led the Baggy Greens to glory for the fifth time in 2015, with the latter even more special as it came on home soil.

At the last World Cup in 2019, Australia were beaten by England by eight wickets in their semi-final meeting at Edgbaston, being dismissed for 223 before the hosts romped to victory in just over 32 overs.

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