Can an in-form Australia defend the ICC World Cup 2019?
05 Apr 2019: Can an in-form Australia defend the ICC World Cup 2019?
The Aussies inflicted a whitewash on Pakistan in the five-match ODI series recently.
This stellar series victory came after a 3-2 win against India last month.
Can they defend the World Cup title? We decode.
Fortunes: Australia's fortunes have changed in a short span
Australia endured a dismal run in the 50-over game since 2017 and there were question marks over their approach regarding the World Cup.
But things have changed for the better in a short span of time.
Eight ODI victories in a row is something that will propel Australia to go strongly in their title defense.
There is a burst of spark in this side.
Aussies batting: Khawaja leads charge, middle order has been solid
Usman Khawaja has been a revelation for the Aussies in 2019 and he looks well set at the moment.
He has amassed 769 runs in 13 games with two hundreds and six fifties to his name. The southpaw is leading the charge.
The middle order looks settled now with players like Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey contributing when needed for the side.
Finch: Finch has peaked at the right time
One aspect that bothered the Aussies was the form of Aaron Finch.
The opener looked out of sorts since a while, but the series against Pakistan has got him back to the groove.
Finch got scores of 116, 153*, 90, 39 and 53.
This gives Aussies the breathing space and the management will be happy with the skipper donning his responsibilities well.
Maxwell: Glenn Maxwell is a genuine match-winner for Australia
Glenn Maxwell's role in the side has always been pivotal.
The all-rounder will play a massive role in the side's World Cup campaign.
Maxi has become more consistent in recent times as he guided Australia to several victories.
His ability to power the team was seen versus Pakistan.
He got successive scores of 71, 98 and 70 to push Australia at the death.
Returning players: The return of star players will further boost the side
David Warner has been at another level in the Indian Premier League 2019 season after coming back from a 12-month ban period.
If he maintains this form, then Aussies will be bolstered immensely.
Steve Smith is returning to the side as well and he brings solidity in the middle.
2015 World Cup hero Mitchell Starc is back in the nets to add more flavor.
Our take: Australia go in as World Cup favorites: Our take
Australia will have a selection headache when the World Cup squad gets announced, but it is something which won't bother Justin Langer.
What Australia have shown is that they have a strong core of players at their disposal.
They go in as title favorites alongside India and England.
Finch's side is going through a positive spell and one expects something productive in store.