Australia Cricket’s ex-skipper Steve Smith and second-in-command David Warner were the recipients of a 12-month ban after the ball-tampering saga in South Africa.
Cameron Bancroft who was caught by the TV cameras was sanctioned a 9-month ban which he completed in December 2018. All three players were in tears while giving the press conference after being sent back home. Loss of Warner and Smith had the Australian team struggling in all the series they played.
The two experienced batsmen are currently playing franchise cricket in the Indian Premier League to get as many games as possible since the World Cup is about a month away. The permission to rejoin does not mean an instant call back. With World Cup starting in May, the duo does not have much time left to prove themselves.
In recent times, the fate of Aussie limited overs squad has changed as they defeated the Kohli-led Indian team and Malik-led Pakistani team in their homes and are on a six-game winning streak.
Aaron Finch who took over the command of the limited-overs squad had a poor run with the bat in most of 2018. But as the World Cup is around the corner Finch has picked up form and is scoring big runs which everyone knows he’s capable of. This has made selection more interesting for the defending champs.
Smith and Warner had a brief meeting with the current squad in Dubai this month and felt like they had never left. When asked about the meet-and-greet Finch said: “It’s a totally different set-up to when they left it. What’s important is they’re really keen to slot back into how this current side works. They were probably as nervous as anyone coming back into the group.”
When asked about the duo’s return in the squad for the World Cup, Australian pacer Pat Cummins said: “Cricket was pretty much their lives and having that taken away, it took them both quite a while to adjust. Hopefully, they’ll both be right in the mix for the World Cup.”
(Source: The Indian Express)