While Australia were not quite as good this decade as the one beforehand, they weren’t too bad either. They managed to win the 2015 ODI World Cup, and weren’t too far away from winning the 2011 and 2019 editions either. The major difference between this and the heyday is that Australia lost a few matches, unlike the 1999-2011 stretch where Australia didn’t lose a single ODI World Cup match.
In both 2011 and 2019, Australia’s World Cup runs were only ended by the eventual champions in knockouts, India and England respectively, and could easily have won the entire tournaments. Oh, and Australia were there or thereabouts for most of the decade, with the likes of Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell coming to the fore, joining greats like David Warner and Shane Watson for an embarrassment of riches.
(1) Aaron Finch
The number one ODI player in the World for much of the decade, Aaron Finch came from obscurity to play his first match in 2013 and hasn’t looked back, accumulating 119 matches, most of them as captain. His 4,559 runs at an average of 40.34 and strike rate of 89.51, are pretty impressive numbers. He started off as a T20 player but was able to quickly adapt to the ODI format as well. Such a pity about his Test numbers. He is our first pick.
(2) David Warner
While Warner had a few games in 2009, 109 out of his 116 games have been in the 2010s, where he accumulated 4,884 runs at an average of 47.88 and a strike rate of 95.55. He was phenomenal and a mainstay at the top of the order.
(3) Shane Watson
While Watson started back in 2005, he was still going strong well into the 2010s, accumulating 3,481 runs at an average of 40.47, backed up with 69 wickets at an average of 35.85. While his bowling suffered compared to his earlier years, his batting didn’t, and his strike rate of 90.44 was more than healthy.
(4) Steve Smith
While not as prolific in ODIs as in Tests, he was still decent, accumulating 3,810 runs at an average of 41.41 and a decent strike rate of 86.31. Considering that his first matches were as a bowler batting at 8, he had a lot to catch up on.
(5) Glenn Maxwell
Starting in 2012, Maxwell soon became a fixture in the Australian ODI team, accumulating 2,877 runs at an average of 32.32 with an incredible strike rate of 123.37, one of the highest in ODI cricket. His bowling was useful too, taking 50 wickets, though his average of 50.50 suggests it should only be used on rare occasions.
(6) Michael Hussey
While not quite as good in the 2010s as in the 2000s, Hussey was still very handy, and managed 1,819 runs at an average of 39.54 and strike rate of 87.20 before his retirement in 2012.
(7) Brad Haddin
While he made his debut in 2001, it was in the 2010s when Haddin shone, playing 73 of his 126 matches and scoring 1,632 runs at an average of 30.79 with a strike rate of 85.31 while taking 117 dismissals, 111 of them caught. There were other wicket keepers used, including Tim Paine, Matthew Wade and most recently Alex Carey, but it is Haddin who was the mainstay, right up until his retirement in 2015.
(8) James Faulkner
Who could forget Faulkner’s heroics in India in 2014, when he single-handedly brought Australia back in the contest on more than one occasion? Known more as a bowler than a batsman at domestic level, in ODIs he added a healthy 1,032 runs at an average of 34.40, but what was more impressive was his strike rate of 104.24. He still managed a handy 96 wickets at an average of 30.85. While he hasn’t played for Australia since 2017, it is more because he wants to pursue his T20 career than anything about his quality.
(9) Mitchell Starc
Making his debut in 2010, Mitchell Starc has been phenomenal in ODIs, not the least his man of the series award in the 2015 World Cup when he tied for most wickets with Trent Boult, which was backed up by his breaking the record for most wickets in the 2019 World Cup. Overall, he has managed to take 172 wickets in just 85 matches at an average of 20.99 and has consistently been one of the best bowlers in world cricket.
(10) Mitchell Johnson
While Johnson is most well known for his incredible spell in 2013-2014, it was in ODIs that he excelled, taking 128 wickets at an average of 24.45 in the 2010s.
(11) Josh Hazlewood
Cruelly left out of Australia’s 2015 World Cup squad, Hazlewood has been phenomenal in the format in the 2010s, taking 72 wickets in 44 matches at an average of just 25.15. The only right-armer, he is an important cog in a 4-man pace attack, or 5 if you count Shane Watson.
David Hussey only just misses out, mainly due to balance, as his batting is a bit weak compared to the others and his bowling isn’t quite enough to make up for it.
Adam Zampa is probably Australia’s best spin bowler for the decade, but he is a long way from the others.
Jhye Richardson could have made the list, but for playing just 12 matches.