ICC World Cup 2019: Predicted squad of Australia for the tournament
They might've found their mojo a little late, but it could not have come at a better time.
Published - Apr 3, 2019 2:37 pm | Updated - Apr 3, 2019 2:37 pm
With Mitchell Starc rioting through the batters and the batsmen doing a fine job on home soil, Australia sensationally won their 5th World Cup in 2015. Steve Smith, who hit the winning runs last time and David Warner, who was pivotal in their lineup, are back after serving their suspensions, bolstering their command big time.
Although there were many speculations surrounding Australia’s title defence last year, the side under Aaron Finch was on rampage mode in India and UAE, dismantling the Asian sides in the ODI and T20I series. They might’ve found their mojo a little late, but it could not have come at a better time.
Experience of Starc and Josh Hazlewood coupled with Pat Cummins’ outstanding form makes them look utterly dominant. The likes of Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell too are in red hot form, which just makes their side look so ready to land a 6th title.
Here’s Australia’s 15-man predicted squad:
1. Aaron Finch (C)
Aaron Finch took over as the captain in a precarious hour, but the Aussie opener has done a tremendous job in the last 10 games. He is in the form of his life, exactly what the doctor orders before a World Cup. Finch kick-started the previous World Cup with a whirlwind knock against England it seems very likely that he will repeat such performances this time.
2. David Warner
It seemed like his World Cup ambitions were done and dusted with Australia finally finding a settled combination, but David Warner has lit up the IPL with his outstanding batting. If he continues his brutal form for another few matches, it will be very difficult for the selectors to ignore him. As it stands, he easily walks into the playing XI.
3. Usman Khawaja
Needless to say, Finch and Khawaja have ensured the void of David Warner and Steve Smith was not to be felt. The 32-year-old southpaw has been terrific in the last few games, making run-scoring look too easy on the eye. He might continue in the top order batting at number three with Warner and Finch opening the innings.
4. Steve Smith
Another one of the main men whose selection is still unsure, Steve Smith still looks a bit rusty if his performances in the IPL are to be judged. Nevertheless, the man who scored the winning run in the last World Cup will add a great amount of experience to the middle order and since he is available, he might walk his way into the squad.
5. Peter Handscomb
In the absence of Steve Smith, young Peter Handscomb managed to stamp his authority in the middle order. Although he has been a bit inconsistent, some of his performances in recent months will definitely earn him a place in the squad, if not the playing XI.
6. Shaun Marsh
The senior most player in the Aussie setup right now, Shaun Marsh has all the experience in the world to combat this tough mental challenge. His form has been fluctuating in recent months, but the squad would definitely be incomplete without his presence. His place in the XI is the only thing to debate about right now.
7. Marcus Stoinis
Although Marcus Stoinis’ contribution has been mostly with the willow, he can deliver when needed with the ball with his canny medium pace. The 29-year-old Western Australian cricketer has shown time and again he can bat at any position and that versatility in a tournament like this is priceless.
8. Glenn Maxwell
One of Australia’s most lethal weapons going into the tournament, Glenn Maxwell will be desperate to continue his amazing run. Incidentally, the only century he registered in International cricket came in the previous World Cup and he would be keen to add more to that tally. He also can provide a good 5-7 overs with his off-breaks.
9. Alex Carey
It took a while for Alex Carey to make a name for himself in the Australian setup, but he did it perhaps at the perfect time. He is firmly in contention to travel to England with the squad and is their number one wicket-keeping choice as it stands. Despite playing just 19 ODIs, the 27-year-old has shown great promise to be at the highest level.
10. Nathan Coulter-Nile
One of the most underrated fast bowlers in the Aussie setup, all the good work Coulter-Nile has been doing is not getting the credit it deserves. Among the many Western Aussie cricketers who feature in the squad, he is another. It will be difficult for him to get into the XI as a bowler, but if he’s able to contribute a bit with the bat, Aussies cold plant four sensational fast bowlers in the playing XI.
11. Josh Hazlewood
The youngster who reminisces everyone of the great Glenn McGrath, Josh Hazlewood has not been up to the mark in limited overs. Yet, his quality cannot be doubted and it will take a very bold move from the selectors to keep him out of the squad. His ability to move the ball could be very useful in English conditions.
12. Mitchell Starc
Player of the tournament from the previous edition, the expectations from Mitchell Starc have sky-rocketed for this edition. If the Aussies have realistic ambitions of winning the trophy for the sixth time, it has to be Starc leading the bowling from the front. The man has done it in the past for the side and has all the ability in the world to do it again.
13. Patrick Cummins
Perhaps the best bowler in the Australian setup right now, Patrick Cummins can stem the run flow, pick important wickets, bowl in the death – in short, he can do anything he wants to with the ball in hand. He has been a terrific asset for the side and will be a significant threat to all the oppositions.
14. Nathan Lyon
Experience coupled with great desire and ability, Nathan Lyon will be their first-choice spinning option. The 31-year-old has been a prolific source of wickets in the longer formats and his renditions with the white ball too are not bad. If there are some dry and slow tracks available in England, he might be playing a lot of games this tournament.
15. Adam Zampa
All teams have spotted that a good leg-spinner adds great value to the side and the Australian side have been investing heavily on Adam Zampa. The 27-year-old from New South Wales is another great wicket-taking option and the captain would literally toss up between Lyon and Zampa on dry wickets.
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