ICC World Cup 2019: Australia recall David Warner, Steve Smith, drop big names
Australia have recalled their former leaders Steve Smith and David Warner for the upcoming ICC mega event as they announced their World Cup squad on Monday. Both the players recently completed the 12-month ban imposed on them in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal. Peter Handscomb was the unlucky batsman to make way for Smith despite his recent good shows with the bat after being recalled to the ODI side earlier this year.
In the 13 games Handscomb has played this year, he has averaged 43. The right-handed batsman also scored his maiden ODI ton during the tour of India, helping Australia win series in India and later against Pakistan in UAE. His wicketkeeping abilities further made many speculate that he would get the nod for the mega-event. According to reports in Australian media, the Australian selectors had to pick between Handscomb and Shaun Marsh and they went with the latter.
Marsh has been Australia’s leading ODI batsman over a troubled two year period for the team. In the last two years, the left-handed batsman has scored seven one-day centuries — including two on the side’s most recent tour of England. Another notable name to miss out is fast-bowler Josh Hazlewood who is on the sidelines since January due to injury. Australia reportedly want to keep him fresh for the Ashes which will follow immediately after the World Cup. Hazlewood was the part of the team that had won the World Cup four years ago.
Australia have picked Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Coulter-Nile to lead the pace attack while Adam Zampa and Nathan Coulter-Nile will take care of the spin department. Ashton Turner, who had impressed during the tour of India, has also missed out along with the likes of Matthew Wade and D’Arcy Short and Kane Richardson.
Australia will begin their World Cup defence against Afghanistan on June 1 in Bristol. The defending champions will take on hosts England and Sri Lanka in the two warm-ups, on May 25 and 27 respectively.
Aaron Finch (capt), David Warner, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon.