The former Australian Captain Steven Smith and Vice-captain David Warner will be completing their International ban on March 28 after almost spending more than 11 months away from the Australian National team since they were involved in the ball-tampering Scandal which led the Cricket Australia to ban the duo for 12 months along with Cameron Bancroft who completed his 9-months ban in January earlier this year.
The Australian team is scheduled to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the end of the March month to play alongside Pakistan for 5-match One-Day International’s which will resume from March 22 and will end by March 31. The tour starts just one day before the Indian Premier League’s 12th edition and that means this year there won’t be the participation of many Australian players in the IPL who usually play regular seasons for their respective teams like Maxwell, Finch, Behrendorff.
Cricket Australia announced the same squad which is playing against India in India without any changes, that means Warner and Smith have not been included in the Squad even for the last two ODI’s which will be played on March 29 and 31 respectively. That mean’s they will be available to play IPL for their respective franchises which they had missed to play last season as BCCI too had not allowed them to play.
The question is that, will the duo get the chance to play the 2019 World Cup which will be held in England & Wales, this will be the last series of Australia before the Cup and Warner and Smith needs to play at least a few games before the Cup as they have been away from ODI cricket by more than a year.
According to Trevor Hohns the chief selector of Cricket Australia, both the players should focus on IPL and improve their playing as he stated “Steve and David have been working through rehabilitation from elbow surgery and it has been agreed the best pathway for them to return to play is in the Indian Premier League, a strong competition which features some of the world’s best players. David will play with Sunrisers Hyderabad and Steve with Rajasthan Royals. Cricket Australia will continue to liaise with both Steve, David and their IPL clubs to monitor progress as we build towards the ICC World Cup and the Ashes,” Hohns said.
Also, Mitchell Starc will be sidelined from the squad as he has a left pectoral muscle strain which will take him more time to recover, that means the young bowlers like Behrendorff and Coulter-Nile will get more chances to impress the selectors for featuring in the squad for the World Cup.
Australia ODI squad:
Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa