World Cup winner Australia has doubled its lead over second-ranked India on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings from six to 12 points while the West Indies, Bangladesh and Pakistan are now locked in a tight struggle for the remaining two slots in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
Publicly labelled "soft" by former test bowler Shane Warne only a few months ago, paceman Mitchell Starc has come of age at the cricket World Cup and could prove key to Australia`s hopes of winning a fourth trophy.
Australian batsman David Warner, who reportedly caused offence during the Ashes last November by branding Jonathan Trott as `weak`, has reportedly offered sympathy to his old England rival for his stress recovery.
Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc has said that he needs to replicate the aggression and mental strength of pace sensation Mitchell Johnson, who has replaced him, in order to battle his way back into the Test team.
Resource-rich Australia has rarely shied away from a calculated gamble in a promising asset, but the continued investment in the all-round talents of Shane Watson will come under heavy scrutiny in the upcoming Ashes series.