Australia do Australia things, without the scowl or the snarl

They've not been as dominant as the previous Australian teams, but they've fought hard and have found a way to win - which is as Australian as it can get

Osman Samiuddin
Osman Samiuddin
In the simple, inarguable fact of Australia making the final of this World Cup, this has been a very Australian campaign. They have been here seven times before after all, and are arriving on the back of an eight-game winning streak. For anyone with even passing interest in this sport, this is familiar territory. Australia? Where else would you expect them to be right now?
But it has been a very Australian campaign not in the way of the best-remembered Australian surges. Sure, they have won eight on the trot, but it's not been with the aura of their dominant, flawless campaigns of 2003 or 2007. No, this run has highlighted that other Australianism, that thing that reminds you of German football teams of the past; the thing for which there absolutely must be a long German word that describes the ingrained refusal to lose a game, to never knowingly be beaten until the last wicket has been taken, ingrained so deep that it turns a loss inside out into a win.
Because littered right through this winning streak are periods of extreme vulnerability punctuated by that very thing, by moments that now, in hindsight, gather together to form whatever might become that German word.
Such as when Sri Lanka were cruising along at 125 for no loss in Lucknow just over a month ago. Australia were already 0-2 from their opening games, chastening defeats both, before Pat Cummins brought himself back, knocked over both openers and Sri Lanka lost 10 for 83.
Or Marcus Stoinis doing likewise to Pakistan's openers and throttling what had been an ominous start to a mammoth chase in Bengaluru in the very next game.
Or, despite having one less fielder on the boundary in Dharamsala for the last over against New Zealand, conceding five wides and bowling one in the slot and one a thigh-high full toss to Jimmy Neesham, somehow scraping through to a five-run win (and Australia have rarely looked as vulnerable to conceding 19 in a last over to lose as they did in that game).
Nobody needs reminding of Glenn Maxwell's epic 201* and the circumstances from which it was forged, though do recall the moment of his dropping by Mujeeb Ur Rehman. All batters, at least one day, make opponents pay for dropping them, but somehow it never feels as cruel and excruciating as a reprieved Australian batter makes it feel - Mujeeb, Usama Mir in Bengaluru last month, and Herschelle Gibbs last century all deserve a kinder place in our hearts.
You might need reminding of Adam Zampa's last-ditch intervention in Ahmedabad against England. Australia needed to win that game but were rarely in control, until Zampa smashed a 19-ball 29, added 38 with Mitchell Starc. and turned an innings that might have folded for 250 into something 300-ish. They won that by 33.
Cummins doesn't have the scowl or snarl of past Australian captains and neither does the team. But that only ever supplemented the aura of those great sides, it didn't create it. That came from how good those players were and all their achievements
And how about that Josh Inglis, fairly anonymous World Cup behind him, turning up to douse the heat of a semi-final no less with an ice-cool and under-celebrated 28? In some ways that was the most Australian thing of this campaign; slightly unheralded player who didn't start the tournament, becoming a little bit of a hero, proving that all of them are in it together, and any of them are capable of doing this.
It speaks both to the strengths and weaknesses of this campaign because take them all out and they have been, as the kids might say, a pretty mid team. A collective batting average that is fourth best, a collective pace-bowling average that is fifth-best; the fifth-best batting average in the powerplay - though, importantly, the second-best strike rate; third-best batting average in the middle overs but fifth-best strike rate; fourth-best bowling average in the middle overs, the sixth-best economy; third-best bowling average at the death, fifth-best economy.
In some ways, the unevenness of performance has mirrored the World Cup of their captain. More than anything, Cummins has looked a little spent. Which should not be surprising given the draining assignments he has overseen, and that only one fast bowler - Matt Henry - has bowled more overs than him in international cricket this year.
Cummins brings such strong leading-man energy, though, that it'll never not be odd seeing him come on first change (even after doing it 55 times in his 87 ODIs) and do the grunt work after the powerplay, effectively the economy class of bowling phases. Given what Josh Hazlewood and Starc bring with the new ball, though, it's difficult to have it any other way. But it adds to the impression that this format hasn't always brought us the best of Cummins.
Instead, like his team he has stepped up in the space of these small, critical moments. The double-strike against Sri Lanka (and the castling of Kusal Perera was a thrilling reminder of his quality), the unbeaten 12 in the chase against Afghanistan, and the catch of Quinton de Kock in the semi-final, part of a fierce Australian fielding performance in the powerplay. If anything, in a strange, understated way these little bits have added to his status as leader.
He doesn't have the scowl or snarl of past Australian captains and neither does the team. But that only ever supplemented the aura of those great sides, it didn't create it. That came from how good those players were and all their achievements. As well, of course, as that Australianness, however ill-defined it remains. That is true and alive in this squad, seven of whom, remember, have won an ODI World Cup.
"Yeah, I think with experience, and fortunately some of that experience is playing in World Cups where we've been dominant," Cummins said. "We've won before. We've had to fight for every win, but we've found a way to win. And different players have stood up at different times. So, I think taking that confidence, knowing that we don't have to be at our absolute best to challenge any team we can find a way through it."
They stand now on the cusp of something monumental. Defeat India in Ahmedabad on Sunday and it will mean that a chunk of this group will have won two World Cups, a T20 World Cup only two years ago, the World Test Championship, and retained an Ashes series this year.
Whichever way you cut that, that's about as Australian as you can get.

Osman Samiuddin is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo