Steve Smith and David Warner have been officially welcomed back to the international fold after winning World Cup selection.
The official squad was announced on Monday morning, with Smith and Warner’s inclusions sure to draw most attention in Australia’s 15-man squad to travel to England.
The pair’s reintegration into the group was made official in Dubai when they joined the Australian team to discuss the group’s future direction.
Despite reports of fallouts with some teammates at the time, coach Justin Langer said the pair’s buy-in into the team’s new culture had been seamless.
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“We had some big talks about the values and the direction we’re going in,” Langer told SEN Breakfast on Tuesday.
“It was great to have them there, we had a social night with them the night before and we got a bit more formal with them the next day with the team.
SEE AUSTRALIA’S FULL WORLD CUP SQUAD BELOW
“They were part of the discussion about values. They didn’t necessarily get up and speak in front of them, there has been plenty of that going on over the past 12 months.
“It has been a huge 12 month period of learning for them and us in Australian cricket. It worked well, it was nice to have them over there before we start kicking off the cricket with them.”
But with Smith and Warner’s return, Peter Handscomb was the unlucky batsman to make way, despite the Victorian playing in Australia’s past 13 ODIs.
In what came down to a straight pick between Handscomb and Shaun Marsh, selectors have gone with the more experienced head, reward for being Australia’s leading ODI batsman over a troubled two year period for the team.
Marsh, 35, has made seven one-day centuries — including two on the side’s most recent tour of England — and is close with Langer.
Despite an explosive showing in a match winning knock in Ranchi, Aston Turner was squeezed out by the return of the previously banned duo.
Injured Test seamer Josh Hazlewood (back) was the other big name to miss out.
CA wants to keep him fresh for the Ashes, with the first Test starting 18 days after the World Cup final. Hazlewood has resumed bowling off a couple of steps and recently declared himself fit for the World Cup.
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Andrew Menczel and Ben Horne discuss who is in and who missed out on Australia’s 2019 World Cup squad.
His omission opened the door for Western Australia pair Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Coulter-Nile to round out the pace battery.
Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon travel as Australia’s spin options.
“Given the depth of talent and competition for spots there were a number of tough calls we had to make to settle on our squad of 15,” selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, from the recent squad which toured India and the UAE, Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner and Kane Richardson have made way for the above inclusions, but all three have been included in the Australia A squad for the tour of England.
“Josh Hazlewood has also been named in the Australia A squad. 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.
“(Smith and Warner are) both … world class players and it has been pleasing to see them produce some good form in the IPL.”
Powerbrokers are confident the returns of Smith and Warner would not disrupt the momentum of a one-day team that has posted eight consecutive wins.
While Warner was always an automatic selection given his rich form in the Indian Premier League, Smith, remarkably, appeared for a time in danger of missing the World Cup squad.
The former captain has attempted just one throw in the IPL, with his sore elbow still a long way from healing.
But coach Justin Langer will now have arguably his two best batsmen in England for Australia’s World Cup defence, which begins on June 1 with a group match against Afghanistan.
The group will meet for a training camp in Brisbane in May, the first time Warner and Smith will pull on Cricket Australia kit since their shaming at Newlands.
Australia will play practice games against New Zealand on May 6, 8 and 10 as part of the camp.
Australia is happy to back Alex Carey as the sole wicketkeeper.
If Carey breaks down then Australia could rush in Handscomb, given he will be in England for the Australia A tour. Test captain Tim Paine and fellow keeper Matthew Wade will also be nearby with Australia A as potential insurance for Carey, along with fringe players Sean Abbott, Kurtis Patterson, Joe Burns, Mitchell Marsh and Kane Richardson.
The other ball tampering culprit, Cameron Bancroft, will also be in England given he is captaining county side Durham.
Australia had until next Tuesday to submit its World Cup squad with the ICC but finalised its plans last week. Injured bowlers Jhye Richardson (shoulder) and Mitchell Starc (pectoral) have both been deemed sufficiently down the track with their recovery to justify inclusion.
AUSTRALIA’S 2019 WORLD CUP SQUAD:
Aaron Finch (c)
Alex Carey (wk)
AUSTRALIA’S WORLD CUP FIXTURES:
May 25: (warm-up) England v Australia, Southampton
May 27: (warm-up) Australia v Sri Lanka, Southampton
June 1: Afghanistan v Australia, Bristol (D/N)
June 6: Australia v West Indies, Trent Bridge
June 9: India v Australia, The Oval
June 12: Australia v Pakistan, Taunton
June 15: Sri Lanka v Australia, The Oval
June 20: Australia v Bangladesh, Trent Bridge
June 25: England v Australia, Lord’s
June 29: New Zealand v Australia, Lord’s (D/N)
July 6: Australia v South Africa, Old Trafford (D/N)
July 9: Semi-Final 1, Old Trafford
July 11: Semi-Final 2, Edgbaston