The hype for the forthcoming World Cup is reaching its peak as sides are preparing for showdown on the biggest stage. Defending World Cup title-holders Australia recently announced their squad for the mega-tournament, marking an intriguing combination of youth and experience.
Expectedly, Steve Smith and David Warner have made their return to the Australian squad, after a serving a one-year ban for their involvement in the disgraceful ball-tampering scandal. Although both players are yet to feature in an international match in over a year, the two have been frequent features in multiple T20 leagues during this period boasting a healthy scoring rate.
The most surprising omission nevertheless, is right-arm seamer Josh Hazlewood having to make way for young quicks Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff in the 15-member squad. Hazlewood’s astonishing career stats of 25.15 average and an economy rate of 4.73 have apparently been deemed irrelevant in context with his fitness issues.
The other notable absentee is Peter Handscomb, who scored prolifically for the Aussie side last year but has been left out for the return of veterans Smith and Warner.