The magic World Cup-winning DNA - Australia have it, England don't

You have to wonder how this World Cup winning DNA works for Australia Getty Images

Aaron Finch was asked about the Australian team's DNA at the press conference before the England match. The BBC correspondent said, "Dealing with the pressure and actually winning World Cups, it's part of your DNA in a way that it just isn't for England." Finch responded with: "I think over the World Cup history, Australia has had that record of peaking at the right time of the tournament."

It's incredible how many people believe Australia winning World Cups is some birthright. It seems like World Cups are just parties in honour of Australians. The recent history, from sandpaper to rubbish form, does not matter.

You have to wonder how this World Cup winning DNA works. Does Stojance the accountant or Tanya the office administrator possess the DNA, and it's only activated when you put on the canary yellow uniform? Could Australia put in a team of lottery winners in their XI, and this magical DNA will somehow sense that it's at a World Cup?

In this change room is Ricky Ponting. He has won more World Cups than Pakistan, England, South Africa, New Zealand and Sri Lanka combined. Think of all that DNA in him. He could probably win a World Cup by buying a ticket to a game.

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The whole thing is madness. Australia have won five World Cups because they have had some of the greatest teams in ODI history, they took limited-overs cricket seriously before others, and they were professional in international cricket when others were amateur.

So, for those who believe in sporting momentum, jinxes, good luck underwear and other sporting predictors, there are plenty of signs to show that Australia should win this World Cup. But people and cricketers believe this. And it's that belief that matters more than the truth. Even before this tournament, when Australia's team was full of spare parts and lost matches, there were hushed tones when mentioning them from some opposition players.

And that was before the last few weeks.

After winning 70% of their games coming into this World Cup, England lost to Pakistan. They followed it up with a loss to Sri Lanka, the worst performing team in this World Cup other than Afghanistan. India almost lost to Afghanistan, and because of an injury to Shikhar Dhawan's thumb, they have lost a third of their top-three fortress. New Zealand has not yet lost a game, but they struggled to get past South Africa, and just beat West Indies and Bangladesh. And their only major challenge was against India, and it was washed out. At this point, no other team looks that likely to make the semi-finals, unless Pakistan do, and Australia beat them.

Australia have been underwhelming at times. The wins over West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were not without their moments, and in their one big match against India, they looked not good enough. But that was also the game that Pat Cummins almost removed a part of Dhawan.

Tomorrow they face England, who have no Jason Roy. Finch said, "I think Jason's been a huge part of their planning and a huge part of their success over the last couple of years, as well. He obviously plays a high tempo and high-risk game, which when it comes off is super influential on the game I think."

This is the same Finch who feared for his spot in this squad a few months ago, and now thanks to the Dhawan and Roy injuries, he's in the best opening pairing at this tournament. They have over 600 runs between them, and David Warner is still batting like he has cobwebs.

It goes deeper than just this team. Australia A are in the country. Meaning Josh Hazlewood is an injury away from sharing the new ball and Matthew Wade just made his second straight hundred. It wasn't that long ago that Australia were struggling for white ball depth, now players can't get in the side.

Finch looked at it and went back to Australia's glory years, "I think it's a sign of the strength that we are building over the last couple of years, the depth of Australian cricket is starting to get back to what people call the heyday, the glory years of the early 2000s and times like that when the competition underneath the men's and women's international team was so fiercely competitive; that it's starting to get back to that. Guys are getting an opportunity, whenever it might be, they are putting their hand up and being counted and making sure they are being in the forefront of selectors' minds when selection comes up."

Australia have lost ten of their previous 11 ODIs against England, they have looked completely outgunned in most of them. They have struggled in their middle overs, still unsure over who their best spinner is and seem to be at least a death bowler short. The England of a month ago would annihilate opposition like this, not even looking behind.

But this is the World Cup, and this is Australia. The magic DNA and all.