World Cup 2019: Warner and Smith return to Australia's squad
With just over a month to go for the ICC World Cup 2019, preparations are already underway.
The participating teams have time till April 23 to announce their final 15-member squad for the mega event.
Defending champions Australia, today, announced their squad.
Here is all about it.
Warner and Smith return following a year ban
In what would be their first international assignment in over a year, David Warner and Steve Smith have made a comeback to the national squad.
They were banned for a year following the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal and have not played for Australia since.
They are currently playing in IPL.
However, their return has come at the cost of Peter Handscomb and Josh Hazlewood.
Smith and Warner to headline batting line-up
As for the batsmen in the side, the order would be dominated by Warner and Smith.
Among the others, Aaron Finch is all set to lead Australia.
He has done a good job in the past two months, leading Australia to twin ODI series wins against India and Pakistan.
Usman Khawaja retains his spot, while Shaun Marsh too sealed his spot in the squad.
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Alex Carey is the surprise man behind the stumps
As for the wicket-keeping department, Alex Carey is the only man in the side who is a proper wicket-keeper batsman.
While he has had an average outing with the bat in the past 10 matches, he is yet to mature as a wicket-keeper as compared to Handscomb.
This could leave Australia exposed to rely on a part-time wicket-keeper, in case Carey gets injured.
Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis among prominent all-rounders
Among the all-rounders, it is stacked with three of their best.
While Glenn Maxwell makes the list for his ability to build innings and make an impact with the ball, Marcus Stoinis can be good at the death, both with bat and ball.
Pat Cummins, who is also a bowling all-rounder, too makes the list owing to his effective performance with the ball recently.
Nathan Coulter-Nile, Nathan Lyon form a deadly bowling pair
Interestingly, it is their bowling department that is stocked with superstars.
The attack starts with pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile, along with Jason Behrendorff, while youngster Jhye Richardson also makes the list.
Notably, Mitchell Starc has also scripted a comeback.
In the spin, two of their imminent spinners Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa make the list, forming one of the most deadly bowling attacks this term.
How does Australia's squad look?
In the first look, the squad looks packed with stars.
At a closer look, it sure looks like a bowling-dominated squad, and rightfully so, considering the conditions in England.
Australia had no choice, but to bring in Warner and Smith, despite they being out of action for a year.
However, it seems harsh to omit Handscomb and Hazlewood, who were doing good of late.
Finch: "Handscomb disappointed by his omission"
Speaking on Handscomb's omission, Finch said, "He's obviously disappointed and everyone is disappointed for him. We knew that there was going to be some really tough decisions and some really big tough calls to be made on the squad and unfortunately Pete was that one."
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Steve Smith And David Warner
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