Ruling Body: Cricket Australia
|Captain: Steven Smith|
|Coach: Darren Lehmann
|Granted Test status: 15 March 1877|
|Current international ranking: Official ICC rankings|
|- P 801, W 377 L 215, D 207, T 2||- P
899, W 554, L
9, NR 32
||- P 93, W 47, L 45, T 0, NR 1|
highest test totals:
- 659/4d v India (2012)
- 624/8d v Pakistan (2016)
- 604/7d v India (2012)
highest ODI totals:
- 417/6 v Afghanistan (2015)
- 378/5 v New Zealand (2016)
- 376/9 v Sri Lanka (2015)
highest T20 totals:
- 263/3 v Sri Lanka (2016)
- 248/6 v England (2013)
- 213/4 v England (2014)
|Capped players: 445||Capped players: 220||Capped players: 87|
|Highest individual score: 380 (ML Hayden)||Highest individual score: 185* (SK Watson)||Highest individual score: 156 (AJ Finch)|
|Most career runs: 13,378 (RT Ponting)||Most career runs: 13,704 (RT Ponting)||Most career runs: 1,686* (DA Warner)|
|Best bowling (innings): 9/121 (AA Mailey)||Best bowling: 7/15 (GD McGrath)||Best bowling: 5/27 (JP Faulkner)|
|Best bowling (match): 16/137 (RAL Massie)||Most career wickets: 381 (GD McGrath)||Most career wickets: 48 (SR Watson)|
|Most career wickets: 708 (SK Warne)|
|Highest team inns: 758/8 v West Indies - 1955||Highest team inns: 434/4 v South Africa - 2006||Highest team inns: 263/3 v Sri Lanka - 2016|
|Highest run chase achieved: 404/3 v England - 1948||Highest run chase achieved: 334/8 v England - 2011||Highest run chase achieved: 205/5 v South Africa - 2016|
|Average RpO: 3.03||Average RpO: 4.99||Average RpO: 8.38|
|13378 - RT Ponting
11174 - AR Border
10927 - SR Waugh
8643 - MJ Clarke
8625 - ML Hayden
|13704 - RT Ponting
9595 - AC Gilchrist
8500 - ME Waugh
7981 - MJ Clarke
7569 - SR Waugh
|1686 - DA Warner
1462 - SR Watson
1082 - AJ Finch
984 - CL White
822 - GJ Maxwell
|708 - SK Warne
563 - GD McGrath
355 - DK Lillee
313 - MG Johnson
310 - B Lee
|380 - GD McGrath
380 - B Lee
291 - SK Warne
239 - MG Johnson
203 - CJ McDermott
38 - MG Johnson
36 - JP Faulkner
30 - MA Starc
28 - SW Tait
- 382 - RB
2nd - 451 - WH Ponsford/DG Bradman
3rd - 315 - RT Ponting/DS Lehmann
4th - 449 - AC Voges/SE Marsh
5th - 405 - SG Barnes/DG Bradman
6th - 346 - JH Fingleton/DG Bradman
7th - 217 - KD Walters/GJ Gilmour
8th - 243 - RM Hartigan/C Hill
9th - 154 - SE Gregory/JM Blackham
10th - 163 - PJ Hughes/AC Agar
- 284 - DA
2nd - 260 - DA Warner/SPD Smith
3rd - 242 - SPD Smith/GJ Bailey
4th - 237 - RT Ponting/A Symonds
5th - 220 - A Symonds/MJ Clarke
6th - 165 - MEK Hussey/BJ Haddin
7th - 123 - MEK Hussey/B Lee
8th - 119 - PR Reiffel/SK Warne
9th - 115 - JP Faulkner/CJ McKay
10th - 63 - SR Watson/AJ Bichel
- SR Watson/DA
2nd - 114 - AJ Finch/SE Marsh
3rd - 118 - AJ Finch/GJ Maxwell
4th - 161 - DA Warner/GJ Maxwell
5th - 83 - RT Ponting/SM Katich
6th - 101* - CL White/MEK Hussey
7th - 74 - MEK Hussey/SPD Smith
8th - 53* - MEK Hussey/MG Johnson
9th - 23* - NM Coulter-Nile/CJ McKay
10th - 12 - DP Nannes/SW Tait
As at May 26, 2017
The history of the Australian cricket team is rich and diverse. Together with the English cricket team, it participated in the first Test match in 1877. A highlight of Australia's early history was the 1882 Test match against England at The Oval. In this match Fred Spofforth took 7/44 in the game's fourth innings to save the match by preventing England from making their 85-run target. After this match The Sporting Times, a major newspaper in London at the time, printed a mock obituary in which the death of English cricket was proclaimed and the announcement made that "the body was cremated and the ashes taken to Australia." This was the start of the famous Ashes series in which every two years Australia and England play a number of Test matches to decide the holder of the Ashes. To this day, the contest is one of the fiercest rivalries in sport.
In the first half-century or so, these contests were on the whole friendly but competitive with both sides enjoying the visit to another country, and getting to play against quality cricketers. The famous Bodyline series temporarily changed things. The series was marred by the tactics used by the English captain Douglas Jardine to control the batting of Don Bradman who completely destroyed the English bowling attack in the 1930 series. Jardine used his fast bowlers to bowl a high proportion of bouncers at head height over leg stump with 6 or 7 fielders in the inner leg side in a close catching position. Given the fact that there were no helmets around at the time the tactics were widely condemned by nearly all of Australia including many former Test cricketers and important politicians.
Australia continued its success up until the 1980s, built mainly around the likes of Richie Benaud, Bob Simpson, the Chappell brothers, Dennis Lillee, and Rod Marsh. The 1980s was a period of relative mediocrity after the turmoil caused by World Series Cricket and the subsequent retirement of several key players, and it was not until the captaincy of Allan Border that the team was restructured. The 1990s and early 21st century were arguably Australia's most successful period, unbeaten in all Ashes series played bar the famous 2005 series and achieving a hat-trick of World Cups. This success has been attributed to the restructuring of the team and system by Border, successive shrewd captains, and the effectiveness of several key players, most notably Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting. In recent years however, following the retirement of most of this group of players, Australia has lost series to both India and England and has dropped to third place in the ICC Test Championship rankings.
It is the joint oldest team in Test cricket, having played in the first Test match in 1877 (defeating England by 45 runs).
It has a winning record against every other Test nation. The Australian national cricket team has also led the ICC Test Championship table for the majority of the time since the creation of the ICC Test table system in January 2001. The South Africans did lead this table for a brief period from January to May 2003, before Australia resumed the first position on the table. Australia has since dropped down to third in the Test rankings behind India and South Africa.
In 2002, they were
named World Team of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards in
recognition of their world record sequence of test match victories.
Australia have made 6 world cup final appearances and have won the Cricket World Cup 4 times in total; 1987, 1999, 2003 & 2007. Australia have also won the ICC Champions Trophy twice in 2006 and in 2009 making them the first and the only team to become back-to-back champions in the Champions Trophy tournaments. Australia also have been the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup champions (Under 19 Cricket World Cup) in 1988, 2002 and 2010. Australia were runners-up in the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010 (which was won by England).
As of 28 April 2007 they are undefeated in 29 consecutive World Cup matches. They have led the ICC One-Day International Championship table from its inception through to 18 February 2007, and then again from 7 April 2007 until 30 January 2009.
Australia would win their first away series 1–0 in 1882 with The Sporting Times famously printing an obituary on English cricket:
“ In Affectionate Remembrance of ENGLISH CRICKET, which died at the Oval on 29th AUGUST, 1882, Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances R.I.P. N.B. - The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.”
As a result of this loss the tour of 1882–83 was dubbed by England captain Ivo Bligh as "the quest to regain the ashes". England with a mixture of amateurs and professionals won the series 2–1. Bligh was presented with an urn that contained some ashes, which have variously been said to be of a bail, ball or even a woman's veil and so The Ashes was born. A fourth match was then played which Australia won by 4 wickets but the match was not considered part of the Ashes series. England would dominate many of these early contests with England winning the Ashes series 10 times between 1884–98. During this period England also played their first Test match against South Africa in 1889 at Port Elizabeth.
The 1899 Ashes series was the first tour where the MCC and the counties appointed a selection committee. There were three active players: Lord Hawke, W.G. Grace and HW Bainbridge who was the captain of Warwickshire. Prior to this, England teams for home Tests had been chosen by the club on whose ground the match was to be played.
The turn of the century saw mixed results for England as they lost four of the eight Ashes series between 1900 and 1914. During this period England would lose their first series against South Africa in the 1905/06 season 4–1 as their batting faltered. The 1912 season saw England take part in a unique experiment. A nine Test triangular tournament involving England, South Africa and Australia was set-up. The series was hampered by a very wet summer and player disputes however and the tournament was considered a failure with the Daily Telegraph stating:
“ Nine Tests provide a surfeit of cricket, and contests between Australia and South Africa are not a great attraction to the British public. ”
With Australia sending a weakened team and the South African bowlers being ineffective England dominated the tournament winning four of their six matches. The Australia v South Africa match, at Lord's, was notable for a visit by King George V, the first time a reigning monarch had watched Test cricket. England would go on one more tour against South Africa before the outbreak of World War I.
The 2005 Ashes tour to England became a watershed event in Australian cricket when, for the first time since 1986–87 a Test series was lost to the old enemy England, and The Ashes were thus surrendered. The summer started with four defeats in one week in one day matches (to England in a Twenty20 match, Somerset in a warm up match, and then Bangladesh and England in successive One Day Internationals). Australia and England tied the final match of the first one day international series, before Australia won the second series 2–1.
The first Test match at Lord's was a convincing victory for Australia, with Glenn McGrath impressing in particular. Captain Ricky Ponting afterwards famously said: We’ve a very good chance of winning 5–0. However at the second Test at Edgbaston star bowler Glenn McGrath was ruled out by an ankle injury after stepping on a ball in the practice nets; Ponting put England in to bat on a fair batting wicket (England scored 407 runs on the first day) and England eventually won a pulsating match by two runs and so leveled the series. England dominated the rain-affected third Test at Old Trafford, but a fine rearguard innings by Ponting just saved Australia on the final day and the match was drawn. In the fourth Test at Trent Bridge Australia was again outplayed and forced to follow-on for the first time in 191 Test matches and eighteen years. England struggled in their second innings but eventually got the 129 runs they needed to win, losing seven wickets in the process. Australia needed to win the fifth and final Test at The Oval to level the series and retain the Ashes but were hampered by bad weather, a strong England bowling performance on the fourth day and England's excellent batting (led by Kevin Pietersen and tailender Ashley Giles) on the final day before the match ended in a draw, handing England a 2–1 series win.
Ageing stars such as Hayden, Gilchrist, Martyn, Gillespie and Kasprowicz underperformed in the tour with Gillespie being subsequently dropped for new and younger talent. On the other hand Shane Warne, who took 40 wickets and scored 249 runs, gave an all-round good performance. Members of the old guard (Ponting, Langer, Lee and McGrath) also played well.
After winning the ICC Champions Trophy convincingly, Australia went home for their summer to play England in a five-test series.
The first test took place in Brisbane at the Gabba. The second test took place in Adelaide from 1 December. The third match of the series was held at the WACA Ground in the West Australian city of Perth. Following the third test victory, Australia reclaimed the Ashes, already having achieved a winning margin of 3–0 in the best of five series. England lamented the shortest period of Ashes retention in the history of the tournament, dating back to 1882.
In the days following the historic win in Perth, spin bowler Shane Warne announced that he would retire from international cricket at the conclusion of the fifth and final Sydney test in January 2007. This also prompted Justin Langer, Australian opening batsmen at the time, to announce his retirement from Test cricket after the 5th test as well. Fast bowler Glenn McGrath later announced he too would retire from international cricket after the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
The fourth match of the series was played at the MCG. Australia took victory in just three days, only needing one innings of batting to outscore England. The fifth match in Sydney ended with Australia capturing a 10 wicket victory. The Australians completed a 5–0 whitewash of the Ashes series, the first time either side had achieved such a feat since the 1920–21 series.
In the 2006 cricket tour to South Africa, Australia lost the one-day series 3–2 after a record-breaking final ODI. Setting South Africa a world record target of 434 off 50 overs (the previous record being 398/5 scored by Sri Lanka vs Kenya 10 years previously), South Africa managed to beat Australia by 1 wicket with a new record score of 438. Earlier, Ricky Ponting top-scored with 164 off 105 balls. South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs, likewise batting at number 3, went on to score 175 off 111 balls thereby playing an instrumental role in the run chase. Many other records were broken in the same match. A total of 872 runs were scored (The previous record was 693 when India beat Pakistan by five runs in Karachi in March 2004). Mick Lewis had the ignominy of becoming the most expensive bowler in ODI history with figures of 0/113 in his 10 overs.