Australia overlook Steve Smith, David Warner for Pakistan ODI series
Both the players are also recovering from elbow injuries.
Updated - Mar 8, 2019 10:55 am
The writing is perhaps on the wall. Australia have decided to leave out Steve Smith and David Warner, the stalwart duo who has remained suspended from international cricket for a year now owing to a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, from their squad for the five-match ODI series against Pakistan later this month.
The upcoming series will be Australia’s final international assignment before the World Cup starting in England and Wales on May 30 and the non-inclusion of Smith and Warner means the Kangaroos have made up their minds to play the big event without them. The suspension of the two dashing cricketers is set to end on March 28.
Smith and Warner were eligible for final two ODIs against Pakistan
Smith and Warner would be eligible to take part in the final two games of the series scheduled in the United Arab Emirates but they were eventually overlooked. Besides the ban, both the players are also recovering from elbow injuries they sustained during the Bangladesh Premier League in January with Smith’s injury more serious.
“After consultation with members of the National Selection Panel, Greg Chappell and Head Coach Justin Langer, Interim EGM Team Performance Belinda Clark, CA Medical Team and both players, it has been agreed Steve Smith and David Warner will not be available for selection for the final two matches of the series against Pakistan,” National Selection Panel chairman Trevor Hohns was quoted as saying in a statement.
“While their bans will be finished on March 28, 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.”
Australia are currently playing a five-match ODI series against India and will have to win the third match scheduled on Friday at the JSCA Stadium in Ranchi as they are trailing 0-2 in order to stay alive in the series. Their first match against Pakistan is on March 22.
Australian cricket authorities though have said that the two players’ performance in the upcoming Indian Premier League will be monitored in the run-up to the World Cup and the Ashes thereafter. While Smith plays for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, Warner represents Sunrisers Hyderabad. They were set to lead their respective teams last season till disaster struck.
Besides Smith and Warner, pacer Mitchell Starc is also set to miss the Pakistan series due to injury. Aaron Finch, who has had a terrible time with the bat of late, will continue as the skipper.
Australia squad for Pakistan ODI series:
Aaron Finch (c), Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Alex Carey, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Ashton Turner, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa.