Steve Smith and David Warner have been included in Australia’s 15-member squad for World Cup 2019, but there is no place for Josh Hazlewood.
Peter Handscomb and Ashton Turner were the other unlucky men to miss out on a place in the squad announced on Monday, April 15, despite strong performances recently.
Banned for 12 months for their role in the ball-tampering scandal, Smith and Warner became eligible for selection on March 29. While they were not picked for Australia’s squad for the Pakistan ODIs in UAE, partly owing to injury concerns, they have featured in the IPL. While Warner has been in excellent nick – 400 runs at 80 with a ton and four half-centuries – Smith has had relatively underwhelming returns with just one fifty in six innings. Yet, the former captain has the backing of the selectors.
“Both are world-class players and it has been pleasing to see them produce some good form in the IPL,” said Trevor Hohns, the chairman of selectors.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) April 15, 2019
With Warner’s return, skipper Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja, who have accumulated 836 runs between them in just 11 innings this year, might be separated. Middle-order batsman Shaun Marsh and wicket-keeper Alex Carey have retained their spots. Glenn Maxwell is the spin-bowling all-rounder, while Marcus Stoinis slots in as his seam-bowling counterpart.
In the bowling department, Hazlewood did not make the cut despite trying to “race against time” to get into the XI. Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff and the duo of Mitchell Starc and Jhye Richardson – whose availability will be subject to fitness – form the five-point pace attack.
“Mitchell Starc and Jhye Richardson have both been named subject to fitness. The advice from the CA medical team is they are progressing well and barring any setbacks will be available for selection ahead of our opening match against Afghanistan on June 1,” added Hohns.
Spinners Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon, who have claimed 18 and eight ODI scalps respectively this year, complete the 15-member squad.
The selectors also named the Australia A squads for the one-day and four-day games in England, taking place alongside the World Cup and ahead of the Ashes. The likes of Hazlewood, Turner, Handscomb and Kane Richardson find themselves in the Australia A one-day side. In case of an injury to World Cup squad member, Australia will thus have a conditions-ready replacement to pick from.
“Josh Hazlewood has also been named in the Australia A squad,” explained Hohns. “Having not played at the highest level for some time, we feel this will provide him with the best preparation to get some quality cricket under his belt. Our focus is to have Josh back bowling at his best for the commencement of a big Ashes tour.
"To cheat so brazenly conﬁrmed a widely held suspicion: Australia believed they were above the law.”
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) April 10, 2019
Tim Paine, the Test captain, will lead a mix of Test regulars and hopefuls in the four-day games, which will serve as vital preparation before the Ashes. The final squad for the Ashes Test is set to be announced after the last game, which is scheduled to finish on July 26, with the first Test from August 1.
“We have Joe Burns, Cameron Bancroft, Marnus Labuschagne, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle and Daniel Worrall in our sights but they have not been included in the squad and will continue to play through this period with their county teams,” said Hohns. “However, we have made it clear that strong form with their county teams will be taken into account for selection in the Ashes squad or the Australia v Australia A tour match.”
Australia A will play five one-dayers from June 20 to July 2, and the four-day games from July 7.
Australia World Cup squad: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon
Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Matthew Wade (wk), Will Pucovski, Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner, Mitch Marsh (vc), D’Arcy Short, Kurtis Patterson, Ashton Agar, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Kane Richardson, Sean Abbott
Australia A four-day squad: Tim Paine (c), Marcus Harris, Kurtis Patterson, Will Pucovski, Travis Head (vc), Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Jon Holland, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Chris Tremain