Smith and Warner will play World Cup 2019: Hayden
Legend Matthew Hayden has backed David Warner and Steve Smith to be a part of Australia's ICC World Cup 2019 squad. The two cricketers will be eligible to play international cricket after their ban ends on March 29. Hayden feels that even a bad Indian Premier League 2019 campaign won't stop these two from getting a place in the squad. Here's more.
Warner and Smith will be seen in the ongoing IPL 2019 and it's a massive tournament for them to get back in the groove. The two cricketers were eligible to be in the Aussie squad for the series against Pakistan, but Cricket Australia decided to make them play the IPL instead and work their way back. Hayden believes that the two will return swiftly.
"It's an opportunity for Warner and Smith to play some cricket. They are going to walk into the side. Even if they have a bad IPL, they are not going to be dropped from that World Cup side," said Hayden.
Smith and Warner were banned last year for their involvement in a ball-tampering scandal in the Test series against South Africa. They were seen in several T20 leagues and played grade cricket in Australia. Both the players suffered injuries during the Bangladesh Premier League earlier this year and had to rush back home. But now they have recovered well post their respective elbow surgeries.
Smith and Warner played massive roles for Australia in the 2015 World Cup victory. They bagged the highest runs for Australia. Smith amassed 402 runs at an average of 67.00. Warner provided immense support with 345 runs at an average of 49.28. So when it comes to a tournament like World Cup, both these players know how to handle pressure.
Both Smith and Warner need to derive the maximum out of the IPL. Quality time on the field will help them to get back to form. They could be rusty in the first couple of matches, but expect the two to get in their zones. Their return will boost the morale as one expects the camp to be in a better frame of mind.