The Australian cricket team is the national cricket team of Australia.
It is the joint oldest team in Test cricket, having played in the first Test match
in 1877 (defeating England by 45 runs).
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.
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
Australia continued its success up until the 1980s, built mainly around the likes
of Richie Benaud, the Chappell brothers, Dennis
Lillee, and Rod Marsh. The 1980s was a period of relative
mediocrity after the retirements of several key players, and it was not until the
captaincy of Allan Border that the team was restructured. The 1990s
and modern era are 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, AdamGilchrist and Ricky Ponting.
As of 1 February 2009, the Australian team has played 704 Test matches, winning
46.66%, losing 25.95% and drawing 27.09% of its games. 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 African cricket
team 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 fourth
in the Test rankings.
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 and 2002. Australia was semi finalist in the ICC World Twenty20
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. 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.