West Indies legend, Brian Lara has come out and stated that it is going to be a very tough one year on the field for Australia with the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner.
The duo was harshly banned by Cricket Australia (CA) for one year each for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal that played out in South Africa earlier this year.
Lara said that he "cringed" watching an inexperienced Australian side, bereft of its key matchwinners, getting "destroyed" by England in the just-concluded limited overs series.
Lara was quoted saying about the matter to The Daily Telegraph as, “It’s going to be a struggle, You can tell the Australians are trying to bring forward a few younger players and experienced players to get what is needed,”
“But it is just under a year out from the World Cup and Australia surely would want to know what their options are going forward. You expect Warner and Smith to get back in the team, but two men don’t make a team.”
Lara knows the reality of it all, Australia lost 5-0 to England but lost without their five key players and even though the World Cup is just a year away, Australia could well be at their best in the marquee event with these players back.
He said, “Okay, England are taking the mickey at the moment and destroying Australia, but you can never count the Australians out, Australia is always going to be a force to be reckoned with; you just need to get young talent in and see who can swim against the tide"
“Australia may be struggling at the moment, but they do have the talent and the experience to turn it around. Sheffield Shield, and all forms of cricket in Australia are some of the toughest leagues in the world to grow up.”
Lara also backs Justin Langer to slowly but surely make an impact as a head coach. He said, “Justin - as a player - was a student of the game; he understood everything and he’s instilling that passion into his players,”
“The (Australian) team he played in, with (Glenn) McGrath, Shane Warne, Mark and Steve Waugh ... his wealth of experience will count when it is needed most. I think he will do a very good job as a coach from the practical side, but also from the mental side.”