World Cup 2019: Fitting in Steve Smith and David Warner in top 4 will mean tough selection calls, says coach Langer
Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch were the frontrunners for Kangaroos when Smith and Warner were handed a one-year ban.
Updated - May 19, 2019 3:29 pm
The Australian cricketing fraternity had a sigh of relief after getting to know that Steve Smith and David Warner were back in the dressing room for the World Cup 2019. The duo had served a ban of a year after getting indirectly involved in a ball-tampering scandal last March. Their returns have also boosted the chances of Kangaroos for the title race in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019.
Smith and Warner, had a very good IPL 2019. The Aussie southpaw achieved the feat of Orange Cap after a tremendous 692 runs in 12 matches. Smith played some valuable innings in the tournament as well. They will be eager to slip back into their positions in the Australian playing XI for the ICC showpiece event. However, for the head coach Justin Langer, it is a headache to slot them back in their original batting positions given how well the rest of the players have performed in their absence.
In absence of Smith-Warner duo, Finch and Khawaja were saviours for Oz
“They are both quality players and their records speak for themselves. The hard part is the Australian team has a problem of plenty particularly in the top four,” Katich was quoted as saying by Timesnownews.
In absence of Smith and Warner, skipper Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh have done exceedingly well in all conditions for the Men in Yellow. Khawaja slammed two centuries against India in India and then Finch slammed two tons against Pakistan in UAE. Glenn Maxwell has done well as a floater with three half-centuries against Pakistan and valuable contributions against India as well.
This will make it hard for Langer and captain Finch to slot in Smith at his No.4 position and Warner as an opener in the playing XI. “Both of them are top four players. There is (Usman) Khawaja, Finch, Shaun Marsh and the two and these guys will try to fit into four slots. Then there is Maxwell, Stoinis. It’s going to be a tough selection call,” Langer further added.
The defending champions have done extremely well just before the mega event in England by beating India 3-2 and then sweeping Pakistan 5-0 away from home. They will be playing Afghanistan in their opening match of the ICC World Cup 2019 on June 1.