Former Australian cricketer Michael Hussey believes that Steven Smith and David Warner have enough qualities to make the returns in the national squad directly for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, after completing their one-year suspension.
Currently, the Australian cricket team is running in the poor form as they have lost the first four ODIs of the ongoing five-match ODI series against the hosts England. Moreover, they have slipped down to no.6 in the ICC ODI rankings – lowest in the last 34 years.
Recently, Hussey said on The Unplayable Podcast, “It’s hard to say so far out, but the quality of player they (Smith and Warner) are you probably would say they are (walk-up selections). As long as they do everything right in the lead up, they’re in good touch skills-wise, they’re in good fitness, no injury concerns and they’ve done all the right things preparation-wise and behavioural-wise as well, then you’d have to think they’d come straight back in because they’re such quality players.
“We need to be looking at who’s in our best team and the best players to play in that team. I’m not sure in 12 months’ time Tim Paine will be there because if you think Alex Carey is a better one-day option, you’re better off getting him in there sooner rather than later, if the selectors think he’s a better one-day option.”
To get match practices during the suspension period, Smith and Warner both will feature in the Global T20 League Canada while Warner has also recently signed for St. Lucia Stars for the upcoming Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.
Hussey feels that the hosts England, the present top-ranked ODI team, are the favourite team for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup as they have settled a strong cricket team. Meanwhile, he also believes that Australia has not much time to build a strong side for that prestigious tournament.
The 43-year-old said, “It (World Cup) is not a long time away and that’s the one thing that does concern me. Leading into a World Cup year, you want to have continuity with your team, you want to get the guys playing together, getting the understanding, the communication out in the middle, knowing their roles very well and feeling comfortable around each other and that’s what England have been able to do.
“That’s why I think they’ll go into the World Cup as favourites because they have such a settled team and they’ve been playing together for quite a period of time now. Now Australia’s not going to have that luxury. We’re going to have some quality players coming back in but they’re not going to have much time to really build that continuity and communication between the group.”