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ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

'Amazing flexibility' – Langer welcomes top-order selection dilemma following Warner's return

Australia head coach Justin Langer termed the top-order selection dilemma posed by the return of David Warner as ‘fantastic flexibility’ ahead of the World Cup in England and Wales.

The return of Steve Smith and his deputy Warner from their year-long bans for ball-tampering has left selectors in a spin, with openers Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja putting up solid performances in ODIs recently.

Warner has been in sublime touch for his franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League and typically opens the batting.

But Langer on Tuesday said he welcomed the problem to have all three potential openers firing.

"We have amazing flexibility now," he told Melbourne radio SEN.

"Usman and Finchy have done an incredible job opening the batting. David and Finchy have done a great job in the past doing it," he added.

Langer said he would ‘mix and match’ the top order in matches leading up to the World Cup.

"I love the flexibility of it. (It's about) boys playing their roles for the team not just playing the roles that suit them," he said.

Paine, Wade and Handscomb on standby

Australia named their World Cup squad on Monday with middle order batsman Peter Handscomb missing out to make way for Steve Smith.

"Steve Smith we felt would probably be able to play that role that Pete has done so well for us," Langer said.

The decision to drop Handscomb also means the squad only has one wicketkeeper in Alex Carey.

But Langer said Tim Paine, Matthew Wade and Handscomb, all named in one of Australia's two A squads which will play in England for the preparation of Ashes, were on standby if Carey was injured.

"Usually wicketkeepers, they give up their spot for no-one. They have to do a pretty serious injury to move aside for someone else," he said.

"And Alex Carey he is elite-fit and is as tough as they come. But if something does happen then we will have someone there to replace them."