3 Australian players who could face the axe when Steve Smith and David Warner return

3 Australian players who could face the axe when Steve Smith and David Warner return

The Australian Test batting has looked a pale shadow of itself in the last few months and a whole lot of changes are expected in the coming days.

Peter Handscomb & Shaun Marsh
Australian batsmen have struggled in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

2018 was a wretched year in an otherwise prosperous history of the Australian cricket team. They started the year on a positive note, having reclaimed the Ashes from their arch-rivals England and going undefeated in the T20I tri-series shortly thereafter. But then the South Africa series happened and nothing remained the same.

Ever since their two best batsmen were slapped with a ban for their involvement in the ball-tampering episode for a year, the team has looked like a pale shadow of itself. The series defeat against India at home has opened some fresh wounds which could be healed only by the return of Smith and Warner in April.

However, the Baggy Greens would have to endure yet another Test series without their titans when they take on Sri Lanka in the two-match Test series, starting 24th of January. With the former captain and the vice-captain set to walk into the Test team directly and the Ashes not too far away, we could see widespread changes to the batting line-up.

We take a look at three players whose places in the Australian Test side could be in jeopardy with the return of the stalwarts

1. Peter Handscomb

Peter Handscomb
Peter Handscomb. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Peter Handscomb had a promising start to his Test career, having racked up 399 runs in his first two Test series in 2016 and 2017. Viewed as one of the few competent players of spin in the Aussie line-up, Handscomb was slated to make it big and emerge as a bright prospect for the future.

However, little did anyone imagine that his technical flaws against fast-bowling would be exposed brutally. The 27-year old had a torrid outing in the recently concluded series against India which stretched back since the Ashes 2017-18. With Travis Head promising to evolve into a player of larger repute and Usman Khawaja less likely to be axed, the Victorian with an average of 21 in three Tests looks to be the one on whom the door could eventually be closed.

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