Cricket Australia have revealed the team for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, and while the team has most of the usual suspects, there were a couple of shocking calls as well.
The banned duo of Steve Smith and David Warner are back in the team after serving their 1-year suspension following the infamous Sandgate incident. Both have been in a sublime form in the IPL, with the fiery left-hander already notching five half-centuries.
David Warner will share the responsibility of opening the batting with captain Aaron Finch, who has been experiencing a bit of a dry spell in terms of runs. Usman Khawaja has been rewarded for his series-winning performance in the ODI series in India with a place in the World Cup squad. One among the two shockers is the exclusion of the in-form Peter Handscomb, who has instead been selected for the Australia A tour of England later this year.
The other shocking call is the overlooking of their strike bowler, Josh Hazlewood, who has been sidelined from competitive cricket as a result of a back injury sustained in January. Although he was on track to be fit for the World Cup, Cricket Australia want to keep him fresh for the big Ashes tour, which follows the World Cup.
This means that the major responsibility of taking wickets for Australia will fall on the current No.1 ranked ODI bowler, Patrick Cummins, and Mitchel Starc, who has been selected subject to fitness. Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorf and Jhye Richardson are the other pace bowlers to make the team.
The Aussie spin department will consist of the charismatic leggie, Adam Zampa, and the persistent Nathon Lyon.
The middle-order has the likes of the explosive Glen Maxwell, experienced campaigner Shaun Marsh and Marcus Stoinis, who will be their main all-rounder. In the absence of Handscomb, Alex Carrey will be their sole wicket-keeper.
Australia Squad: Aaron Finch (C), Steve Smith, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carrey, Glen Maxwell, Adam Zampa, Nathon Lyon, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorf, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile