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Smith, Warner named in Australia squad for World Cup
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

Smith, Warner named in Australia squad for World Cup

Steve Smith and David Warner on Monday were recalled to the Australia side for the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales starting May 30. The duo will be representing Australia since the infamous ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town last year.

Both players were deemed eligible for the final two games of Australia's recent ODI series against Pakistan, but selectors instead preferred that they eased themselves back at the ongoing Indian Premier League.

Both have grabbed the opportunity and have been in good touch, particularly the left-handed Warner who has been in blistering form for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

"As far as I'm concerned they have done everything that's been asked of them in the last 12 months," said one-day skipper Aaron Finch, adding that he didn't believe their return would be destabilising.

"Knowing them both personally as I do, I don't think there will be any issues whatsoever. They are both great, great guys."

The return of Smith and Warner had left coach Justin Langer with a dilemma on the back of his side winning eight consecutive ODIs against India and Pakistan.

The top order has been firing, but it is Handscomb who is the fall guy despite averaging 43 in 13 games this year. The decision to drop him means the team only has one wicketkeeper in Alex Carey.

Australia's recent red form has revolved around a rock-solid opening partnership between Finch and Khawaja.

The decision for Langer now is whether to stick to that winning combination when or move one of them down to make way for Warner, who traditionally opens the batting.

Shaun Marsh, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis make up the middle order.

"There's so much flexibility in our order and there will be a lot of options," said Finch. "There's been a couple of hard decisions made on the 15, but there's going to be some even tougher ones with the 11."

Selectors opted for two spinners in Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon and five quick bowlers.

Pat Cummins will spearhead the attack while Mitchell Starc has been recalled to the side after being sidelined with a muscle tear since early February.

But Hazlewood, who has been out since January with a back injury, missed out, with chief selector Trevor Hohns saying the focus was on having him ready for the Ashes which starts in August.

Hazlewood and Handscomb were instead named in both Australia's one-day A squad, which will play games in England while the World Cup is going on, and their four-day A squad to face English county sides in the build-up to the Ashes.

Australia one-day A squad

Travis Head (capt), Matthew Wade, Will Pucovski, Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner, Mitch Marsh, D'Arcy Short, Kurtis Patterson, Ashton Agar, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood, Kane Richardson, Sean Abbott

Australia four-day A squad

Tim Paine (capt), Marcus Harris, Kurtis Patterson, Will Pucovski, Travis Head, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Jon Holland, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Josh Hazlewood, Chris Tremain