The brand new edition of the ODI World Cup is all set to begin on October 5 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad where England will take on New Zealand in the tournament opener. Speaking about the ODI World Cup, how can we ignore Australia who had won the trophy on five occasions?
They, in fact, won the trophy in succession -1999, 2003 and 2007. In this article, we will take a look at Australia’s 2003 World Cup campaign which was perhaps their finest.
Under the leadership of Ricky Ponting, Australia went on to win all 11 matches, winning the trophy for the second time in a row. So, stay tuned as we take a thorough look at it in a match-wise manner.
Also, you can place a wager on your favourite team for the 2023 world cup through Online Cricket Betting sites.
2003 ODI World Cup Recap | Australia’s Best
Australia landed in South Africa and a day before the tournament opener received a shocker of news.
Their top spinner Shane Warne had failed a drug test and was ruled out of the tournament.
Nevertheless, this didn’t deter the squad and they managed to win every game of the tournament.
Australia vs Pakistan, Match 4:
In the tournament opener at Johannesburg, Australia, riding on a superb 143 from Andrew Symonds, managed to score a total of 310/8 in the allotted 50 overs.
In reply, Pakistan's top order kept on losing wickets, and the sucker punch came from slow bowlers Brad Hogg and Ian Harvey who shared 7 wickets in between.
Pakistan was eventually bowled out for 228, losing the match by 82 runs.
Australia vs India, Match 11:
Meanwhile, against Pakistan’s arch-rivals India, Australia brought their ‘A’ game to the fore.
Brett Lee and Jason Gillispie each picked three wickets as India were all out for 125.
In the chase, Australia won the match single-handedly, winning with 9 wickets and 166 balls remaining.
Australia vs Netherlands, Match 20:
Against the Netherlands, Australia rested Adam Gilchrist, but his replacement Jimmy Maher fired with the bat.
Moreover, Damien Martyn’s 67 ensured Australia have reached a score of 170/2 by the time rain arrived.
Chasing 199 through Duckworth Lewis Method, Netherlands were all out for 122 as Andy Bichel picked up three wickets with Ian Harvey also picking up three wickets.
Australia won the game by 75 runs.
Australia vs Zimbabwe, Match 27:
Already on a high after winning three on the trot, Australia went on a rampage against Zimbabwe, restricting them to a score of 246/9. Spinner Brad Hogg picked up three wickets.
In reply, Australia chased down the target as three batters scored fifty. This included Adam Gilchrist (61), Damien Martyn (50), and Darren Lehmann(56).
They won the match by 7 wickets and 15 balls remaining.
Australia vs Namibia, Match 31:
Australian bowlers went all out against Namibia as they were bowled out for just 45.
Pacer Glenn McGrath picked up insane figures of 7/15.
Earlier Australia had posted a total of 301/6 in the fifty overs.
Matthew Hayden scored 88, Andrew Symonds scored 59, and Darren Lehmann scored 50.
In the end, Australia gave their Net Run Rate a huge boost as they won the match by 256 runs.
Australia vs England, Match 37:
Against their own arch-rivals England at St George’s Park, Australia were pushed for the first time in the tournament.
Earlier, Andy Bichel picked up insane figures of 7/20 as England were restricted to 204/8.
In reply, Australian batters showed rare fragility as pacer Andy Caddick picked up four wickets. Australia were left reeling at 114/7.
But from here on, Michael Bevan (74 off 126 balls) took charge as they eventually won the match by 2 wickets.
Australia vs Sri Lanka, 1st Super Six Match:
Australia’s two top stars–Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting came to the party with the bat in the first Super Six match.
While Gilchrist was out for 99, Ponting would score a century and Australia would post a total of 319/5 in the allotted 50 overs.
In reply, Sri Lanka was never in the chase. Aravinda De Silva was the highest scorer with 92 runs as they folded up for 223.
Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee shared five wickets among each other while Brad Hogg picked up a couple.
Australia won the match by 96 runs.
Australia vs New Zealand, 5th Super Six Match:
Australia was pushed into the tournament for the second time—this time by New Zealand.
Australia had batted first, but some superb bowling from Shane Bond (6/23) ensured they were restricted to 208/9. Michael Bevan scored 56 while Andy Bichel also accounted for 64.
Those runs proved to be crucial as New Zealand batters faltered in the chase.
Only skipper Stephen Fleming was the lone bright spot with 48 runs as New Zealand were all out for 112.
Brett Lee picked up five wickets and Glenn McGrath picked up three wickets each.
Australia vs Kenya, 9th Super Six Match:
In their last Super Six match, Aussie bowlers were on target as Kenya were restricted to 174/8.
Captain Steve Tikolo was the highest run scorer with 51 runs off 100 balls.
In reply, Adam Gilchrist played a whirlwind knock of 67 off 43 balls as they chased down the target with five wickets to spare.
Australia vs Sri Lanka, 1st Semi-Final:
With nine games on the trot, Australia marched into the semi-final and beat Sri Lanka comprehensively.
Andrew Symonds remained unbeaten at 91 off 118 balls but other Aussie batters failed to capitalise and they were restricted to 212/7.
Sri Lankan pacer Chaminda Vaas picked up three wickets.
In reply, Sri Lanka was never in the chase as their batters failed to convert the good starts they got.
Brett Lee picked up three wickets after which rain arrived and Australia won the semi-finals by 48 runs through Duckworth-Lewis Method.
Australia vs India, The Final:
Australia won the toss and opted to bat first.
Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist both feasted upon the pedestrian bowling that was on display.
The duo scored centuries as Australia posted a target of 360 runs.
In reply, India lost the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar early and kept on losing timely wickets.
Only Virender Sehwag showed some resistance with 82 runs but it was way too little and way too late.
Australia won the match by 125 runs and went on to lift their second World Cup title.
This 2003 World Cup campaign was like a dream for Ricky Ponting and his men. They lost the services of Shane Warne who had failed the drug test, and yet never lost the momentum.
They won most of their matches comprehensively and were pushed just twice in the whole campaign. Their top order fired on big occasions, while bowlers too came in handy.
But it was the spinner Brad Hogg who turned up every time a breakthrough was needed.
This World Cup marked the beginning of their golden generation which would help them emulate this kind of performance four years later in West Indies.