Australia are once again hoping to follow their impressive recent record in tournament finals for another silverware. The visitors will challenge the hosts West Indies at Kensington Oval in the tri-series decider after the Caribbeans throw South Africa out of the tournament with a 100-run victory on Friday night.
Australia have gone through quite an impressive recent history when it comes to high-pressure ODIs, having been victorious in nine of 12 matches, be it tournament finals or series-deciding encounters over the past five years.
Recent history suggests that the Aussies are almost unbeatable in vital tournament deciders as well, with a stunning record five wins from seven World Cup finals and two out of two in the Champions Trophy.
On the other hand, West Indies have appeared in just five finals or series deciders over the past five years, losing four of them, and have a 3-3 record in finals of major ODI tournaments in their recent history. Since 2004, they haven’t been able to win an ODI tournament involving more than two teams.
So, victory in tonight’s final will come as a welcome boost for either of the winning team as they are on the brink of contrasting challenges over the next 12 months.
For Australia, victory will confirm their status as the No.1 ODI team in the world and continue their success story towards the Champions Trophy in England next year, while the West Indies are vying for the automatic qualification spot in the 2019 World Cup.
West Indies will not be seen in next year’s Champions Trophy, having been managed to climb up to only the ninth position at the cut-off date last September. However, they have since progressed well and are desperate to avoid the same mistake for the 2019 World Cup.
The impressive performances of the Windies, currently ranked 8th, in this series has already brought them some valuable points in the ICC ODI rankings, moving them clear of ninth-placed Pakistan with 15 months in hand before the cut-off for the World Cup.
Hosts England and the other top seven ranked teams as of 30th September, 2017 will automatically qualify for the tournament, while the teams who are ranked 9 to 12 will have to go through a qualifying tournament in Bangladesh in March and April 2018, as the top two teams from there will make it to the World Cup.
Australia in series deciders since June 2011
Oct 2011: Australia 7-227 (Watson 49, Hussey 45no) beat South Africa 6-222 (Kallis 54, Amla 52) by three wickets in Durban.
Mar 2012: Australia 231 (Wade 49, Warner 48) beat Sri Lanka 215 (Tharanga 71, McKay 5-28) by 16 runs in Adelaide.
Mar 2012: Australia 281 (Warner 69, Watson 66, Russell 4-61) beat West Indies 251 (Sammy 84, Lee 3-42) by 30 runs in Gros Inlet.
Sep 2012: Australia 7-250 (Hussey 65, Maxwell 56no) beat Pakistan 7-244 (Hafeez 78, Starc 4-51) by three wickets in Sharjah.
Jan 2013: Australia 5-247 (Hughes 138no) beat Sri Lanka 215 (Mathews 67, Doherty 3-21, Henriques 3-32) by 32 runs in Hobart.
Sep 2013: Australia 298 (Watson 143, Clarke 75, Stokes 5-61) beatEngland 249 (Bopara 62, Faulkner 3-38) by 49 runs in Southampton.
Nov 2013: Australia 326 (Faulkner 116, Maxwell 60) lost to India 6-383 (Sharma 209, Dhoni 62) by 57 runs in Bangalore.
Sep 2014: Australia 9-217 (Finch 54, Steyn 4-34) lost to South Africa 4-221 (Du Plessis 96, De Villiers 57no) by six wickets in Harare.
Feb 2015: Australia 8-278 (Maxwell 95, Marsh 60) beat England 166 (Maxwell 4-46, Johnson 3-27) by 112 runs in Perth.
Mar 2015: Australia 3-186 (Clarke 74, Smith 56no) beat New Zealand 183 (Elliott 83, Johnson 3-30, Faulkner 3-36) by seven wickets in Melbourne (World Cup final).
Sep 2015: Australia 2-140 (Finch 70no, Bailey 40no) beat England 138 (Marsh 4-27, Hastings 3-21) by eight wickets in Manchester.
Feb 2016: Australia 191 (Khawaja 44, Marsh 41, Henry 3-60) lost to New Zealand 246 (Guptill 59, Elliott 50) by 55 runs in Hamilton.