As the Cricket Australia board were to announce the 15-man squad for the World Cup mix it was certain that the bench strength of the previously reduced squad will be more of a bane than a boon for the management.
The Australian think tank had to choose between taking back ex-captain Steve Smith and David Warner and leaving one of them out to squeeze another option in. The ICC Cricket World Cup will commence on May 30 and the defending Champions will begin their campaign on June 1 when they take on Afghanistan.
Here's the Aussie squad out to defend their World Cup title!
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) April 15, 2019
New Zealand, the finalists of the 2015 World Cup, were the first to announce their World Cup squad earlier this month. On April 15, India and Australia unveiled their 15-man brigade for the ICC event. While the other two squads included a reserve wicket-keeper, the Australian management has acted against it. Taking Alex Carey as their first choice for a wicketkeeper, the Aussies left out the talented glovesman Peter Handscomb. He averages 43.54 with the bat in the year 2019 and also played a key role in Australia’s victory in India last month. His 117 in Mohali paved the way for Australia’s highest successful ODI chase ever.
Also Read: India’s World Cup Squad
But the think tank thought that top-order batting, with Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch who are in the form of their lives, and with the David Warner-Steve Smith duo returning after a year-long absence, Handscomb’s inclusion was no go. Handscomb wasn’t just the one to be left out from the list of players who had steered Australia’s away series victory over India. Even Ashton Turner missed out on a World Cup spot. Meanwhile, Alex Carey and Jason Behrendorff made the cut.
Veteran bowler Josh Hazlewood was also left out as he is seen as more of a Test Cricket specialist. However, the CA board has attested that in the case of any injury to any of the five fast bowlers, Hazlewood will positively be called in as a replacement.
World Cup squad: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (vc), Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon.