FTR, I don't think the ICC rankings are accurate either. If that were the case, then Australia would be a dominant no.1, which they most certaintly aren't. Just like in tests, I think there a few teams competing for the top spot, neither one making a particularly strong case.
How is percentage of wins in a year bull**** in ranking teams? Okay it's not bulletproof, given the sides all played different oppositions in different countries, but it's a reasonable marker.
Perhaps a better thing to say would be to say I see Australia as around 5th favourite for the World Cup, being on the sub-continent. India/SL/SA/ certainly, perhaps England just ahead. Again, my opinion.
But ignoring what I said, based on those odds you could make a case for Australia being 5th favourite. India clearly 1st, I would put SL 2nd in sub-continent, I like SA at third with their run-scoring ability + one of the best ODI slow bowlers in Botha, then just England over Aus, again given slow bowling merit, batting order etc.
Putting Australia at 5th seems harsh but none more so than putting any other top-5 side there.
If you imagine all the top 5 (India, SL, England, SA and Aus) to be reasonably close as I do, and someone has to be ranked 5th, then you can only do this on recent form.
Australia have lost their last ODI series against SA, England, India and Sri Lanka. So putting them 5th seems harsh but fair.
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As regards captain's age, check out the age at which many great Aussie captains in the past were still winning Tests. (e.g. Bradman 44, Benaud 33, the Chappells 33 and 34, Alan Border 38 etc).
[BTW it is not "saying bad things about big grown men" that I object to, it's the snide bitching in Aussie media about a good player going through a bad time .]
The reason why Australia have been pretty meh at ODI's is because we haven't been at full-strength for the past 3 series.
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Part of the reason, yes.
I'd certainly not read much into the India match where it was Clarke captaining a greenhorn attack.
Not having our best attack hurts but so has our batting at times tbf.
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