History of the Australian cricket team
The History of the Australian cricket team began when eleven cricketers from the colonies of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria formed an eleven to play a touring team of professional English cricketers at Melbourne in March 1877. Billed as the "Grand Combination match", the game is now known as the first Test match. Encouraged by a 45-run victory, the colonists believed that they had enough cricketing talent to take on the English on their own soil. A team organised and managed by John Conway, a former Victorian player, toured England during the 1878 season. After a discouraging loss to Nottinghamshire in the opening match of the tour, the Australians met a Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) team at Lord's on 26 May 1878. Australia's upset win by nine wickets was "the commencement of the modern era of cricket", according to Lord Hawke.
- 1 The 1860s
- 2 The 1870s
- 3 The 1880s
- 4 The 1890s
- 5 1900s
- 6 The 1910s
- 7 The 1920s
- 8 The 1930s
- 9 The 1940s
- 10 The 1950s
- 11 The 1960s
- 12 The 1970s
- 13 The 1980s
- 14 The 1990s
- 15 The 2000s
- 16 Tournament history
- 17 History of Australia's One-Day International Shirts
- 18 References
In 1865, a match was arranged between a team of Aboriginal cricketers and European settlers from various pastoral stations; the indigenous team won. The playing of cricket by indigenous people of the Western District reflected their changing circumstances. At this time there were no formal associations.
The European population gave Aboriginal players nicknames; for example, Johnny Mullagh worked at the Mullagh station. Others were referred to by names like Bullocky, Dick-a-Dick, Sundown, and Red Cap. In 1878, the Aboriginal number two was nicknamed Jim Crow and another one was called Mosquito (see photos in Georges Goulvent Le Cam, Australie naissance d'une nation (Australia, Birth of a Nation), Presses universitaires de Rennes, France, 2000).
Thomas Wentworth Wills was a key figure in the development of colonial cricket and Australian rules football. In November 1866, Wills became the Captain and Coach of the indigenous cricket team. The very first Australian cricket team that played overseas was the 1868 Aboriginal cricket tour of England.
The 1870s saw the first official matches between English and Australian teams. Due to the amount of time that it took teams to travel from England to Australia (and vice versa), these teams were generally not a true representation of the best players for each country. At the time, there was no significance placed on these matches – statisticians later called them "test matches" between England and Australia.
England in Australia 1876/77. Match length: Timeless. Balls per over: 4. Series result: Drawn 1–1.
|No.||Date||Home captain||Away captain||Venue||Result|
|1||15,16,17,19 Mar 1877||Dave Gregory (AUS)||James Lillywhite (ENG)||Melbourne Cricket Ground (AUS)||AUS by 45 runs|
|2||31 Mar,2,3,4 Apr 1877||Dave Gregory (AUS)||James Lillywhite (ENG)||Melbourne Cricket Ground (AUS)||ENG by 4 wkts|
Just over a year later, an Australian side visited England and played a match against the MCC. In what turned out to be a match that was completed in one day, only 105 runs were scored with the Australian side emerging the victors by nine wickets. This match however was not granted test status.
In 1879, Lord Harris led an English side down under between January and March. This tour schedule involved a single test match followed by two series of two matches against Victorian and New South Wales sides.
England in Australia 1878/79. Match length: Timeless. Balls per over: 4. Series result: Australia, 1–0.
|No.||Date||Home captain||Away captain||Venue||Result|
|3||2,3,4 Jan 1879||Dave Gregory (AUS)||Lord Harris (ENG)||Melbourne Cricket Ground (AUS)||AUS by 10 wkts|
Australia toured England 5 times during the 1880s and played 27 Test matches. One of these matches was played in 1880, 1 in 1882 and 3 in 1884, 1886 and 1888 respectively. Losing a total of 15 matches. Note: Balls per over: 4. 16 of them were timeless matches while 11 were 3 day Test matches. During this time Percy McDonnell led the Australian scoring with 950 runs. Closely followed by Billy Murdoch on 860 and Alec Bannerman on 745. during this time Spofforth was the most prolific wicket taker with 94 wickets at an average of 18.41 runs per wicket. Palmer closely followed with 78 wickets at an average of 21.51 per wicket.
Australia toured England 4 times during the 1890s and played 26 Test matches against them. (won 10, lost 10)
Note: Half the Tests had 5 balls per over and half had 6 balls per over. Half of them were 3 day Test matches and half were timeless Test matches.
- 1890: 2 Tests
- 1893: 3 Tests
- 1896: 3 Tests
- 1899: First 5 Test tour
List of Australian Test captains in the 1890s
List of top Australian Test run scorers in the 1890s
- Darling 1139
List of top Australian Test wicket takers in the 1890s
- Giffen 74
- Trumble 63
- Jones 56
- Turner 51
|1902–03||South Africa||South Africa||3||2||0||1||Won|
Australian team started touring other countries such as South Africa which had Test status (first tour in 1903) and New Zealand for the first time in 1905.
Australia toured England 3 times between 1900–1909 and toured South Africa for the first time in 1903. Australia played 33 Test matches in this decade winning 16 of them and losing 9. Most of them were against England and only 3 of them were against South Africa. Test cricket had for the first time gone to Africa. All the Test matches had 6 balls per over. Most of them were 3 day Test matches while 15 of them were timeless Test matches.
- 1902: 5 Tests in England
- 1903: First tour of South Africa, 3 Tests
- 1905: 5 Tests in England
- 1909: 5 Tests in England
Australian Test captains
The two main Australian Test team captains during this period were Darling and Noble. Both of them had a good captaincy record. Yay
List of top Australian wicket takers of the period
- Noble 89
- Saunders 79
- Trumble 78
Australia were visited in the first two summers of this decade by South Africa and England respectively. In 1912 the Australian team toured England and played in the 1912 Triangular Tournament with their hosts and South Africa.
Needless to say, this was the decade of World War I. After the last match of the Triangular series in August 1912, Australia did not play another Test match until December 1920 when England, as the Marylebone Cricket Club toured Australia in a five Test series.
|1921–22||South Africa||South Africa||3||1||0||2||Won|
Australia toured England twice and South Africa once during this decade. Australia played 28 Test matches during this decade, winning 14 and losing 6. Most of them were against England and only 3 against South Africa. 5 of the Test matches had 8 ball overs. Most of the Test matches were timeless whereas there were 9 three day Test matches and 3 four day Test matches.
- 1921: 5 Tests in England, 3 Tests in South Africa in November
- 1926: 5 Tests in England
Australian Test captains
The two main Australian Test captains during this decade were Armstrong and Collins. Both of them had a good record.
List of top Australian Test run scorers of the 1920s
- Ryder 1394
- Collins 1352
- Macartney 1252
- Gregory 1146
List of top Australian wicket takers of the 1920s
- Mailey 99
- Gregory 85
|1935–36||South Africa||South Africa||5||4||0||1||Won|
Australia toured England thrice and had the first 5 Test tour of South Africa. Australia played 39 Tests in this decade winning 22 and losing 10. Australia also toured India and Ceylon in 1935 but no official international match was played although India got Test status in 1932.
- 1930: 5 Tests in England
- 1934: 5 Tests in England
- 1935–1936: First 5 Test tour of South Africa
- 1938: 4 Tests in England
Australian Test captains
The leading Australian Test captain in this decade was Woodfull. Don Bradman led the Australian team in 9 Test matches in this decade.
Australian Test batsmen
Don Bradman, regarded by most followers of the game as the greatest batsman to have played the game scored 4625 Test runs in this decade at an average of 102.77 runs per innings with 19 centuries.
Sir Donald eclipsed other performances which would have otherwise had been noticed such as Stan McCabe's 2748 runs at an average of 48.2 runs per innings.
List of top Australian wickettakers in the 1930s
- Grimmett 169 wickets at an average of 21.95 runs per wicket
- O'Reilly 136 wickets at an average of 23.68 runs per wicket
|1945–46||New Zealand||New Zealand||1||1||0||0||Won|
|1949–50||South Africa||South Africa||5||4||0||1||Won|
This decade was affected by World War II. Due to this Australia played only 17 Test matches. Their performance was impressive perhaps due to the Don Bradman factor as they won 13 of them and did not lose a single Test match. Most of the victories were against England. Australia were led by Sir Donald Bradman during this period. He scored 1903 runs at an average of 105.72 runs per innings.
- 1946 Australia's first Test tour of New Zealand (1 Test)
- 1948 5 Test tour of England (see: The Invincibles (cricket))
- 1949–1950 5 Test tour of South Africa
Australian Test bowlers
- Ray Lindwall 70 wickets at an average of 19.17 runs per wicket.
- Johnston 54 wickets at an average of 18.51 runs per wicket.
|1954–55||West Indies||West Indies||5||3||0||2||Won|
|1957–58||South Africa||South Africa||5||3||0||2||Won|
England was no longer the prime opponent. Australia played 13 Test matches against South Africa and 10 against West Indies. Most of the Tests during this period were played with 8 ball overs and 5 day Test matches although Australia also played 22 six day Test matches. Australian Test captains were Hassett, Johnson and the popular Richie Benaud who had an exceptional record during this period. Australia's leading runscorer in this decade was Harvey with 4573 runs at an average of 50.25 runs per innings while the leading wickettaker was Richie Benaud with 165 wickets at an average of 23.95.
- 1953 5 Tests in England
- 1955 5 Test tour of West Indies
- 1956 5 Tests in England
- 1956 first tour of Pakistan, 1 Test
- 1956 first tour of India, 3 Tests
- 1958 5 Tests in South Africa
- 1959 3 Tests in Pakistan
- 1959–1960 5 Tests in India
|1964–65||West Indies||West Indies||5||1||2||2||Lost|
|1966–67||South Africa||South Africa||5||1||3||1||Lost|
- Includes one tied match
Richie Benaud captained Australia in 18 Test matches, Bob Simpson in 29 and Bill Lawry in 16. Lawry was the leading Test batsman. He scored 4717 Test runs at an average of 49.65 runs per innings while McKenzie was the leading Test wicket taker with 238 Test wickets.
- 1961 5 Tests in England
- 1964 5 Tests in England
- 1964 3 Tests in India
- 1964 1 Test in Pakistan
- 1965 5 Tests in West Indies
- 1966-1967 5 Tests in South Africa
- 1968 5 Tests in England
- 1969 5 Tests in India
Australia's Record in Test Match Cricket 1970–1979
|1970||South Africa||South Africa||4||0||4||0||Lost|
|1972–73||West Indies||West Indies||5||3||0||2||Won|
|1973–74||New Zealand||New Zealand||3||1||1||1||Drawn|
|1976–77||New Zealand||New Zealand||2||1||0||1||Won|
|1977–78||West Indies||West Indies||5||1||3||1||Lost|
Australia's Record in ODI Cricket 1970–1979
|1974||v New Zealand||New Zealand||2||2||0||0||0||Won|
|1975||1st World CupT||England||5||4||1||0||0||Runner-up|
|1975||v West Indies||Australia||1||1||0||0||0||Won|
|1978||v West Indies||West Indies||2||1||1||0||0||Drawn|
|1979||2nd World CupT||England||3||1||2||0||0||Eliminated|
|1979–80||World SeriesT||Australia||6||2||4||0||0||Completed 1980|
T: denotes tournament played between three or more teams
Australia's Record in Test Match Cricket 1980–1989
|1981–82||New Zealand||New Zealand||3||1||1||1||Drawn|
|1982–83||Sri Lanka||Sri Lanka||1||1||0||0||Won|
|1983–84||West Indies||West Indies||5||0||3||2||Lost|
# plus one tied result
Australia's Record in ODI Cricket 1980–1989
|1982||v New Zealand||New Zealand||3||2||1||0||0||Won|
|1983||v New Zealand||Australia||1||0||1||0||0||Lost|
|1983||v Sri Lanka||Sri Lanka||4||0||2||0||2||Lost|
|1983||3rd World CupT||England||6||2||4||0||0||Eliminated|
|1984||v West Indies||West Indies||4||1||3||0||0||Lost|
|1985||World Champ. CupT||Australia||3||1||2||0||0||Eliminated|
|1986||v New Zealand||New Zealand||4||2||2||0||0||Drawn|
|1987||4th World CupT||India/Pakistan||8||7||1||0||0||Won|
|1989–90||World SeriesT||Australia||2||2||0||0||0||Completed in 1990|
T: denotes tournament between three or more teams.
Australian cricket during the 1980s was comparatively unsuccessful, particularly following the retirement of players such as Marsh and Lillee. Queenslander Allan Border, rated as one of the finest middle-order players in history, took over as captain and attempted a re-building process. For quite some time, the common wisdom was that Australia's score in an innings would be "Border plus 100". Border achieved the feat of scoring more than 150 runs in both innings of a Test during a tour of Pakistan during this decade.
As the decade continued, a number of talented players made their debuts and established themselves in the team. Among these were fast bowler Craig McDermott, wicket keeper Ian Healy, Steve Waugh and batsman Dean Jones. Cult heroes such as overweight Tasmanian batsman David Boon and Victorian bowler Merv Hughes also earned places in the team.
In the closing years of the 1980s, Australia won back the Ashes from England and began an era of dominance in that series which only ended in 2005. This decade was also notable for Australia's first Cricket World Cup victory, achieved in 1987 when they won against England by 7 runs in the most closely fought World Cup final to date at Eden Gardens in Calcutta. These two aforementioned victories are considered to have signalled the genesis of the team's rise to dominance, though at that point they were still behind the West Indies and failed to win any Tests in India or Pakistan. In 1986, Australia and India played out only the second tie in Test history, with Jones producing a famous double-century innings in sapping heat.
Australia's Record in Test Match Cricket 1990–1999
|1989–90||New Zealand||New Zealand||1||0||1||0||Lost|
|1990–91||West Indies||West Indies||5||1||3||1||Lost|
|1991–92||Sri Lanka||Sri Lanka||3||1||0||2||Won|
|1992–93||New Zealand||New Zealand||3||1||1||1||Drawn|
|1993–94||South Africa||South Africa||3||1||1||1||Drawn|
|1994–95||West Indies||West Indies||4||2||1||1||Won|
|1996–97||South Africa||South Africa||3||2||1||0||Won|
|1998–99||West Indies||West Indies||4||2||2||0||Drawn|
|1999-00||Sri Lanka||Sri Lanka||3||0||1||2||Lost|
Australia's Record in ODI Cricket 1990–1999
|1990||Rothmans Cup||New Zealand||5||5||0||0||0||Won|
|1991||v West Indies||West Indies||5||4||1||0||0||Won|
|1992||5th World Cup||Aust/NZ||8||4||4||0||0||Eliminated|
|1992||v Sri Lanka||Sri Lanka||3||1||2||0||0||Lost|
|1993||v New Zealand||New Zealand||5||3||2||0||0||Won|
|1994||v South Africa||South Africa||8||4||4||0||0||Drawn|
|1994||Singer World Series||Sri Lanka||3||1||2||0||0||Eliminated|
|1994||Wills Triangular Series||Pakistan||6||5||1||0||0||Won|
|1995||NZ Centenary T’ment||New Zealand||4||3||1||0||0||Won|
|1995||v West Indies||West Indies||5||1||4||0||0||Lost|
|1996||6th World Cup||Ind/Pak/SL||7||5||2||0||0||Runner-up|
|1996||Singer World Series||Sri Lanka||4||2||2||0||0||Runner-up|
|1997||v South Africa||South Africa||7||4||3||0||0||Won|
|1998||v New Zealand||Australia||4||2||2||0||0||Drawn|
|1998||Pepsi Triangular Series||India||5||3||2||0||0||Won|
|1999||v West Indies||West Indies||7||3||3||1||0||Drawn|
|1999||7th World Cup||UK/Ire/Neth||10||7||2||1||0||Won|
|1999||Aiwa Cup||Sri Lanka||5||4||1||0||0||Runner-up|
The 1990s saw the dawn and twilight of many well-known Australian cricketers Shane Warne became a household name during the 1993 Ashes tour, Allan Border retired after playing South Africa at Durban in 1994, Glenn McGrath became famous as a metronome (and as a rabbit) during the 1994–95 tour of the West Indies, Ricky Ponting came onto the scene with 96 against Sri Lanka during 1995–96, Craig McDermott was forced to retire during the 1996–97 season, while Brett Lee appeared at the turn of the century. Meanwhile, Australian cricket was run by three captains, Allan Border, Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh.
Australia continued to assert their dominance over The Ashes during the 1990s, won the unofficial Test 'world championship' prize from West Indies during 1994–95, won a second World Cup in 1999 and began a long winning streak in 1999, both in one-day internationals and Tests. The only venues where Australia struggled were India and Sri Lanka. The 1992–93 Frank Worrell Trophy series against the West Indies was the last Test series Australia lost at home until the 2008–09 series loss to South Africa.
A year after losing to Sri Lanka in the final of the 1996 World Cup, Australia adopted a policy of fielding separate Test and one-day sides. The policy was intended to ensure that players were only chosen for the side for which they were suitable. This resulted in the immediate removal of captain Taylor and his deputy Ian Healy from the ODI team. The move proved successful, and was also adopted by other teams such as England and the West Indies.
The defeat of the then-dominant West Indies on their 1995 tour of the Caribbean is viewed as the moment when Australia became the dominant side in the world. Since then, in spite of a few occasions (specifically the 2005 Ashes series) the Australians have had an extremely high winning rate that compares favourably to the leading teams in history (much like the West Indies for the two decades prior).
- The 1994–95 World Series Cup was expanded to include an Australia A side, and by making the finals, it proved that Australia had a lot of young cricketers ready to represent their country (and many of them did)
- Mark Taylor's captaincy, following the retirement of Allan Border
Australia's Record in Test Match Cricket 2000–
|1999–90||New Zealand||New Zealand||3||3||0||0||Won|
|2001–02||New Zealand||New Zealand||3||0||0||3||Drawn|
|2001–02||South Africa||South Africa||3||2||1||0||Won|
|2002–03||West Indies||West Indies||4||3||1||0||Won|
|2003–04||Sri Lanka||Sri Lanka||3||3||0||0||Won|
|2004–05||New Zealand||New Zealand||3||2||0||1||Won|
|2005–06||ICC World XI||Australia||1||1||0||0||Won|
|2005–06||South Africa||South Africa||3||3||0||0||Won|
|2008–09||South Africa||South Africa||3||2||1||0||Won|
During this decade, Australia's dominance has continued to the point that they have gone months sometimes even a full calendar year without losing a single match and have racked up many records along the way. Following Steve Waugh's omission in 2002 from One Day International cricket and, in his retirement in 2004 from Test cricket, Ricky Ponting replaced him as Captain and continued the team's international dominance.
The 2005 Ashes series 2–1 loss to England was considered a disaster. The return series in 2006–07, was, however, a resounding success, with the Australians completing a 5–0 whitewash of the English, a feat not witnessed since Warwick Armstrong's side in 1920–21. The 2006–07 season also saw the retirements of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer. The Ashes were again lost 2–1 in England in 2009, this result reduced Australia to 4th in the ICC Test Rankings, their lowest ever position. Australia's dominance during this time extended to One-Day Cricket, with the Australians winning a third consecutive Cricket World Cup in 2007, following their successes in 2003 and 1999). Australia's dominance of the tournament during the decade has meant that the team has not suffered a World Cup loss since the group stage of 1999. Australia pulled out of their cricket tour of Pakistan because of Terrorism in Pakistan on 11 March 2008.
The Australian cricket team has had a rich history participating in the World Cup. At present, they have won the World Cup five times as well as three titles in a row, the only team to do so. Their dominance of the tournament can be analysed through the winning percentage of all countries which have participated, as Australia hold a 10% higher winning rate over the next best side.
Their dominance of the tournament most recently in particular has been quite phenomenal, and the Australian team currently[when?] sit on 23 consecutive victories, a winning streak which dates back to the 1999 world cup tournament. To put this into perspective, the second longest winning streak behind this is nine straight victories by the West Indies team of the 1970s.
ICC Champions Trophy
The Australian cricket team finally captured victory in the ICC Champions Trophy series after beating the West Indies in the final of the 2006 series and backed it up by winning their second straight ICC Champions Trophy by beating New Zealand in the 2009 edition in South Africa.
The Australian cricket team made it as far as the quarter-finals in the ICC knockout. They have reached the quarter-finals on two different occasions.
Despite topping their pool, Australia lost to South Africa in the gold medal play-off.
Australia have entered the Austral-Asia cup three times. The best result came in 1990 in which they were runners-up.
Twenty20 World Cup
They reached the semi-final of the first Twenty20 World Cup in 2007 losing to the eventual champions India, but also lost to Pakistan and Zimbabwe in the group stages. In the 2009 World Cup they were eliminated in the qualification round after losing by six wickets to both the West Indies and Sri Lanka.
History of Australia's One-Day International Shirts
- Jackson, Jamie (22 September 2007). "World Twenty20: Nazir and Yuvraj fireworks set up dream finale". theguardian.com. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
- Twenty20 World Cup Standings www.cricket20.com