Australia have been the most successful team in the history of World Cup cricket. They have triumphed in five of the 12 editions of the World Cup. However, in six editions of the T20 World Cup, the team could not manage to go all the way. Nevertheless, Australia have had a plethora of World Cup-winning players who could have tasted success in the IPL, a cash-rich T-20 league. The IPL is one of the most lucrative T20 competitions in the world.
The Men in Yellow triumphed in the 50-over World Cup in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015. The 2003 and 2007 editions of the World Cup in particular witnessed complete domination by Australia as they did not lose a single match across both editions.
Many players have contributed to the success of Australia in 50-over World Cup cricket. Australia have had aggressive openers, solid middle-order batsmen, finishers, tactful spinners and skillful fast bowlers, who could all have come in handy in the IPL.
On that note, we take a look at five such Australian players who have triumphed at the 50-over World Cup and could have replicated that success in the IPL too.
Five Australian World Cup-winning players who could have fared well in the IPL:
#1. Michael Bevan:
Michael Bevan was a complete package in the Australian ODI outfit. He was a part of the Australian squad that won the 1999 and 2003 editions of the World Cup. He averaged 52.80 in the 1999 World Cup and 49.33 in the 2003 World Cup.
The left-handed middle-order batsman is considered one of the finest finishers in the history of ODI cricket. He could pick the gaps in the field with ease, was extremely quick between the wickets and was a master in finishing games.
He averaged 53.58 in 196 ODI innings that included 46 half-centuries and six centuries. Bevan rescued the sinking ship for Australia on numerous occasions and got them over the finishing line.
The left-hander could have tasted success in the IPL too as he averaged 59.88 in 24 ODI innings in India. Apart from his batting skills, he was a useful part-time bowler and an excellent fielder and could have attracted huge bids in the IPL.
#2. Mark Waugh:
Mark Waugh tasted success in ODI cricket. In 236 ODI innings, Waugh scored exactly 8500 runs at an average of 39.35 and a decent strike-rate of 76.90. He scored 18 centuries and 50 half-centuries in the said format and was an aggressive batsman at the top of the order for Australia.
The younger Waugh twin loved to dominate the bowling from the word go and could have been a dangerous batsman in the power-play overs in the IPL. His ability to find gaps with ease and score quick runs could have landed him a lucrative IPL contract. He was an effective bowler too in ODIs and has 85 wickets to his credit. Waugh was also a safe fielder.
The right-hander averaged 59.67 in 17 ODI innings in India and loved to play in Indian conditions. He has four ODI centuries on Indian soil. Waugh played a vital role in Australia's victorious campaign in the 1999 World Cup. He scored 375 runs at an average of 41.67. He also guided Australia to the finals of the 1996 World Cup in the sub-continent and averaged 80.67 in the said edition of the competition.
Waugh was indeed a three-dimensional player and could have been one of the players in demand in the IPL. The right-hander's aggression at the top of the order could have been very handy in the IPL where teams look to score briskly from the start.
#3. Craig McDermott:
Craig McDermott played a vital role in the success of the Australian team in the 1987 edition of the World Cup. He was the highest wicket-taker in the said edition of the competition, picking up 18 wickets at an impressive average of 18.94.
He was an extremely effective wicket-taking bowler and finished with 203 wickets at an average of 24.72 in ODI cricket. His career was an injury-ravaged one and if not for his injuries, he could have been one of the most successful bowlers to have represented Australia in ODI cricket.
MDermott could also have been a handy pick in IPL cricket. His wicket-taking prowess and the ability to bowl fast would have been an asset for any IPL team.
#4. Damien Fleming:
Damien Fleming is best remembered for his death-over bowling in the semi-finals of the 1996 and 1999 World Cup.
In the semi-finals of the 1999 World Cup, he was given the responsibility of defending nine runs in the final over. A rampaging Lance Klusener smashed him for two boundaries of the first two balls of the over. Fleming, though, kept his composure and followed up with two excellent deliveries to the left-hander, the second of which caught the ball-watching last man Allan Donald run out.
The game ended in a tie and Australia proceeded to the final where they beat Pakistan to win their second World Cup trophy. He also played a crucial role in the success of the team in the 1999 World Cup where he picked up 14 wickets at an average of 25.86.
Fleming had also successfully defended ten runs in the 1996 edition of World Cup. In the semi-finals against the West Indies, the right-armer conceded just four runs as Australia won the game by five runs.
Fleming picked up 134 wickets at an average of 25.39 in ODI cricket and could have been in demand in the IPL. He was a death overs specialist and could have been given the responsibility of bowling the death overs in the IPL.
#5. David Boon:
David Boon scored 5964 ODI runs at an average of 37.04 with five centuries and 37 half-centuries. He was an excellent player of spin and liked to bat in sub-continent conditions.
Boon tasted success for Australia in the 1987 edition of the World Cup where he scored 447 runs with 5 half-centuries at an average of 55.88. He was the Man of the Match in the final of the said edition of the World Cup and also played numerous match-winning knocks during the tournament.
In 18 ODI innings in India, Boon scored 656 runs at an average of 36.44 with a century and four half-centuries. Boon could have tasted success in the IPL too considering that he was a good player against spin and had a liking towards Indian conditions. The IPL, unsurprisingly, has been staged in India in all but one of the 12 editions of the competition.