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  1. #1
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    Australia announce squad for 2019 World Cup

    The fifteen-player squad for the ICC World Cup will assemble in Brisbane for a training camp at the National Cricket Centre on May 2.

    The training camp will include three practice matches between Australia XI and New Zealand XI at Allan Border Field.

    Australia opens its World Cup title defence against Afghanistan at the Bristol County Ground in just 47 days.

    Australian Men’s World Cup Squad:

    Aaron Finch (c) (Victoria)
    Usman Khawaja (Queensland)
    David Warner (New South Wales)
    Steve Smith (New South Wales)
    Shaun Marsh (Western Australia)
    Glenn Maxwell (Victoria)
    Marcus Stoinis (Western Australia)
    Alex Carey (vc) (South Australia)
    Pat Cummins (vc) (New South Wales)
    Mitchell Starc (New South Wales)
    Jhye Richardson (Western Australia)
    Nathan Coulter-Nile (Western Australia)
    Jason Behrendorff (Western Australia)
    Nathan Lyon (New South Wales)
    Adam Zampa (South Australia)

    Chairman of Selectors, Trevor Hohns, said:

    “We’d like to congratulate the players selected to represent Australia at the upcoming World Cup, it is a huge honour and I know this squad is focused on playing a brand of cricket which can help us in our ambition to win another World Cup title.

    “We have been extremely pleased with how the ODI squad has been building over the past six months, including the recent series wins in India and against Pakistan in the UAE.

    “Steve Smith and David Warner come back into the squad. Both are world class players and it has been pleasing to see them produce some good form in the IPL.

    “Mitchell Starc and Jhye Richardson have both been named subject to fitness. The advice from the CA medical team is they are progressing well and barring any setbacks will be available for selection ahead of our opening match against Afghanistan on June 1.

    “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.

    “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.”

    Australia’s World Cup Fixture:

    Match 1 – June 1

    Afghanistan v Australia
    Bristol Country Ground, Bristol
    1:30pm (Local Time)

    Match 2 – June 6

    Australia v West Indies
    Trent Bridge, Nottingham
    10:30am (Local Time)

    Match 3 – June 9

    India v Australia
    The Oval, London
    10:30am (Local Time)

    Match 4 – June 12

    Australia v Pakistan
    Country Ground Taunton, Taunton
    10:30am (Local Time)

    Match 5 – June 15

    Sri Lanka v Australia
    The Oval, London
    10:30am (Local Time)

    Match 6 - June 20

    Australia v Bangladesh
    Trent Bridge, Nottingham10:30am (Local Time)

    Match 7 – June 25

    England v Australia
    Lord’s, London
    10:30am (Local Time)

    Match 8 – June 29
    New Zealand v Australia
    Lord’s, London
    1:30pm (Local Time)

    Match 9 – July 6

    Australia v South Africa
    Old Trafford, Manchester
    1:30pm (Local Time)

    Semi Finals– July 9 and 11

    World Cup Final – July 14

    https://www.cricketaustralia.com.au/...cup/2019-04-15
    Last edited by giri26; 15th April 2019 at 08:21.

  2. #2
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    Cricket Australia releases World Cup squad | Smith, Warner return

    Peter Handscomb and Josh Hazlewood have missed out on selection as Australia named its squad for the Cricket World Cup today.

    The Aussies unveiled a 15-man touring party to go to England for the showpiece event which kicks off for Justin Langer’s troops against Afghanistan on June 1.

    Australian selectors overlooked Handscomb and Hazlewood and brought Steve Smith and David Warner back in as they prepare for their international returns following the end of their ball-tampering bans.

    Hazlewood hasn’t played since the Sydney Test against India after suffering a stress fracture in his back and while he was optimistic about returning to Australian duty for the World Cup, question marks over his fitness and concerns about a lack of match practice will prevent him from taking part in the national team’s title defence.

    Handscomb has been impressive since being recalled to Australia’s middle order for the home ODI series against India but couldn’t force his way into the squad. He posted two half centuries in three matches Down Under then continued his hot streak on the subcontinent.

    The right-hander scored his maiden ODI ton in Mohali and contributed with 48 in Nagpur and 52 in Delhi, before registering scores of 30 not out and 47 in the one-day series against Pakistan in the UAE.

    In 13 matches this year, Handscomb averages 43 at a strike rate of 98. However, the squeeze for World Cup middle order spots — made even more fierce by Warner and Smith’s returns — meant someone was always going to be unlucky and the Victorian has made way.

    Handscomb’s omission means Alex Carey has been chosen as the sole wicketkeeper and vice-captain and Shaun Marsh keeps his spot. Hazlewood’s absence sees Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff and Jhye Richardson form the rest of the pace pack alongside Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, who is on the mend from a pectoral injury.

    Australia’s eight-match winning streak in India and the UAE has given it the blueprint with which to attack the World Cup, after adopting a more conservative batting line-up midway through the summer.

    Warner, skipper Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja have been picked to play, despite uncertainty over which two will fill the opening role.

    Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon were both chosen as spinning options, however whether Australia will follow rivals’ leads by taking two spinners into most matches is questionable. Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis are the all-rounders.

    Warner and Smith’s inclusion in the World Cup squad marks the first time the pair have been selected for Australia since the Cape Town Test in March last year, where they copped 12-month bans over the sandpaper saga.

    They will also return to Cricket Australia’s contracted players list, after the two biggest names were left off last year.

    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.

    https://www.news.com.au/sport/cricke...8faa21816b4d57


    Does cricket survive off of it's money or does it survive for it's money?

  3. #3
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    I don't see the need for selecting 7 bowlers, 2 being spinners... They only really needed one of Zampa or Lyon... They already have Maxwell for spin.

    Handscomb really should have been there as well as Ashton Turner.

    1.David Warner
    2.Usman Khawaja
    3.Aaron Finch
    4.Steve Smith
    5.Marcus Stoinis
    6.Glenn Maxwell
    7.Alex Carey
    8.Adam Zampa
    9.Jhye Richardson
    10.Pat Cummins
    11.Mitchell Starc

  4. #4
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    Almost predictable squad, only that I would have taken Handscomb for Lyon, it would have covered the back-WK spot as well. Hazlewood probably didn’t convince with his fitness, hence it’s a fair call to pick NCN.

    From AUS’s squad I predict it’s going to be a dry summer - Aussies hardly make mistakes in their selection and there must be a reason to pick couple of specialist spinners. I think, most teams will adopt the same combination for squad - bowling depth, because 9 games in 5 weeks isn’t going to be easy for a 15 men squad; bowlers will need to bowl lot in nets as well.

    Still a very good squad - easily among top 3 favourites.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Almost predictable squad, only that I would have taken Handscomb for Lyon, it would have covered the back-WK spot as well. Hazlewood probably didn’t convince with his fitness, hence it’s a fair call to pick NCN.

    From AUS’s squad I predict it’s going to be a dry summer - Aussies hardly make mistakes in their selection and there must be a reason to pick couple of specialist spinners. I think, most teams will adopt the same combination for squad - bowling depth, because 9 games in 5 weeks isn’t going to be easy for a 15 men squad; bowlers will need to bowl lot in nets as well.

    Still a very good squad - easily among top 3 favourites.
    Speaking of dry summer, we'll be going in with Shadab + Imad... One pseudo all rounder and one all rounder who doesn't spin the ball.



    We're doomed.

  6. #6
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    Poor decision to omit Handscomb but that squad looks formidable. England and India are the best sides on paper, however Australia are peaking at the right time going into this WC and they just know how to win a WC, so if I was a betting man, I would put my money on them.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chokli View Post
    Speaking of dry summer, we'll be going in with Shadab + Imad... One pseudo all rounder and one all rounder who doesn't spin the ball.



    We're doomed.
    Normally, for such tournaments I study AUS & IND squad and often that gives me enough clue about the conditions. Now I am almost certain that IND will pick Chahal & probably Jades as well.

    Regarding spin dou, they can pick a specialist spinner in Yasir👍, but I don’t think there is much option left for PAK. The greatest CS in PAK’s history had 2 years to find couple of spinners, but decided to back the tested all-rounder pair, then Hafeez as 3rd spinner. Picking Umer was too much to ask, but I think instead of Yasir they should have tried another Leggi. Can’t say much about Gohar because he wasn’t picked even in PAK cup - that means out of top 80 cricketers in PAK ... guy must has to be damn ordinary.

    Yes, lack of genuine spinners will trouble PAK & this batting line up doesn’t give the confidence of posting 325+ even on the best batting conditions- best chance is to operate between 250-275 range, and that can only happen with at least 40 overs of penetrative bowling. On dry wickets, without genuine spinners, it’ll be tough to do so. Most teams have found a formula against PAK, that’s milking between 11-35 overs without losing wickets and then go after the attack which isn’t at its best with 2 balls. Couple of genuine spinners was a must.

  8. #8
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    Some weird omissions. Their is no backup wk, what if carey gets injured. Handscomb was in the form of his life. Deserved to be there ahead of smith who has been struggling of late. Also, what the hell is lyon doing there. He will be cannon fodder in those conditions.

  9. #9
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    Solid squad, Handsomb unlucky to miss out.

    If Warner and Smith can pick up where they left off, this is a very strong team, definite contenders for the trophy.

  10. #10
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    What’s so special about Coulter-Nile? Gets thrashed in every match. Aussie version of Sami. Hazelwood was a much, much better option.

    Handscomb should have been picked in Lyon’s place.

  11. #11
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    The squad is good and looks strong. Don't get the fact as to why there is no Handscomb and why Behrendorff is in the squad. He hasn't played too many ODIs for Australia and hasn't done anything special. It seems a little confusing as to why you would need two left arm fast men in your squad for no reason.

  12. #12
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    Hazlewood wasn't fit & questions over Starc too- selectors simply couldn't carry TWO questionable fitness quicks into a WC so no complaints here. Starc had to be the choice, he can win you a game in 3 overs if he is on song, Hazlewood doesn't have that kind of capability in ODI so they went with the player with the highest performance ceiling.

    Handscomb unlucky but again, which player if they get set, bat 20 balls for 15 runs is the scariest proposition for the opposition, the most likely to set up a win with a match defining knock? Handscomb? Warner? Smith? They may be rusty in the opening rounds but come finals time I'll take the latter two.

    Marsh is the other spot he could take but Marsh played in better form lately. Maxwell is an allrounder so competing for different spot.

    Two spinners is the correct call given modern trends in the game & that a late summer or pitches with several games played on them might favour spin. The option needs to be there. Zampa will likely be preferred but if he is overawed or hit about, Lyon has the career experience to step into the role. A leggy & offie so theoretically a good combo should they both make the 11 too. Both good fielders.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by giri26 View Post
    The squad is good and looks strong. Don't get the fact as to why there is no Handscomb and why Behrendorff is in the squad. He hasn't played too many ODIs for Australia and hasn't done anything special. It seems a little confusing as to why you would need two left arm fast men in your squad for no reason.

    He is the odd choice. I can only think he's selected simply through incumbency & the desire for a lefty in case Starc needs rest/breaks down.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongun View Post
    He is the odd choice. I can only think he's selected simply through incumbency & the desire for a lefty in case Starc needs rest/breaks down.
    Doesn't make sense to me. You pick your best bowlers and if JB is your top 5 best pacer in the country then fine but just picking him because he is a lefty is really poor.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by giri26 View Post
    Doesn't make sense to me. You pick your best bowlers and if JB is your top 5 best pacer in the country then fine but just picking him because he is a lefty is really poor.
    We'll see how he goes but yes, it is at least justifiable.

    He IS currently in the team. A team which has been winning.

    He went ok in the ODI series.

    His T20 form lately has been very strong - and we have to judge off that since its the only other cricket he's been playing.

    Who else would we pick who is fit? Why drop 'Dorf when he has been doing Ok in a winning team in conditions quite hard for quick bowlers & has been very strong in other limited over formats?

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    Bowling looks weak.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongun View Post
    We'll see how he goes but yes, it is at least justifiable.

    He IS currently in the team. A team which has been winning.

    He went ok in the ODI series.

    His T20 form lately has been very strong - and we have to judge off that since its the only other cricket he's been playing.

    Who else would we pick who is fit? Why drop 'Dorf when he has been doing Ok in a winning team in conditions quite hard for quick bowlers & has been very strong in other limited over formats?
    Well to be frank the team which won in India and UAE had Handscomb who did very well in both those series. Behrendorff is a T20 bowler and his ODI stats read 6 games 7 wickets at an average of 41 and economy of 5.33. How does he make the WC squad?

    Handscomb who was part of the same winning squad scored 479 runs at an average of 43. Don't understand the same. Everything else seems fine to me with the squad. Is Hazlewood unfit? If he is not, surprised he isn't in the squad ahead of JB if at all they wanted 5 bowlers. Hazlewood 72 wickets at an average of 25 and econ of 4.73.

    Anyways overall a good squad and the batting looks really strong with Smith and Warner back.

  18. #18
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    They dropped Turner?

  19. #19
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    Very poor from the selectors to drop Handscomb

  20. #20
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    Handscomb in place of Carey and Hazelwood in place of CoulterNile. Hazel would have been lethal in seaming conditions.

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    Excellent squad selected. They can rotate the fast bowlers with these options. Would have selected Handscomb over Shaun Marsh, as he gives you a keeping opition. But I think a keeper can be called up if your regular 1 is injured throughout the tournament.

    Very good squad. Will reach the final imo.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by giri26 View Post
    Well to be frank the team which won in India and UAE had Handscomb who did very well in both those series. Behrendorff is a T20 bowler and his ODI stats read 6 games 7 wickets at an average of 41 and economy of 5.33. How does he make the WC squad?

    Handscomb who was part of the same winning squad scored 479 runs at an average of 43. Don't understand the same. Everything else seems fine to me with the squad. Is Hazlewood unfit? If he is not, surprised he isn't in the squad ahead of JB if at all they wanted 5 bowlers. Hazlewood 72 wickets at an average of 25 and econ of 4.73.

    Anyways overall a good squad and the batting looks really strong with Smith and Warner back.
    Yes, Hazlewood is regarded as unfit. Hasn't played since January- can't be considered.

    'JB is in the team currently. Would you have the selectors drop him for no reason from a winning team (playing, not just in the squad) for a random player right on the eve of the WC? That's more a Pakistani style selection than any other nation.

    Difference between the two cases is that we have to fully fit worldbeaters (literally) ready to come back- they have been playing cricket & playing well. So they top Handscomb easily. His only other competition for a batting spot is Marsh- who did even better than Handscomb in recent games so he is unlucky, but misses out.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maliq_Mudasir View Post
    Handscomb in place of Carey and Hazelwood in place of CoulterNile. Hazel would have been lethal in seaming conditions.
    Hazelwood hasn't played any cricket for 4 months & Carey is our only specialist keeper.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFM View Post
    They dropped Turner?
    Smells pakistani like selection, you give chance to a player, he performs and he is then just dropped


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  25. #25
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    Surprised Turner didn’t get more opportunities. Could have potentially took Stonis place in the squad if given more matches as he showed promise.

  26. #26
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    Yes Handscomb and Turner are surprising omissions but think its going to be high scoring games thats why they have gone with so many bowlers.Also spin is key due to dry summer and both spinners have well for them.Just look at this XI
    Finch
    Warner
    Khawaja
    Smith
    Marsh
    Maxwell
    Carey
    Starc
    Cummins
    Lyon
    Zampa/Richardson

    Very Strong team

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    One spot: Warner and Khawaja in battle for opening role

    Captain Aaron Finch has all but locked himself in as an opening batsman, leaving David Warner and Usman Khawaja to fight to partner him at the top of the order in Australia's World Cup defence.

    The national selectors have confirmed their 15-man party for the 10-nation event in England and Wales beginning next month, with underdone fast bowler Josh Hazlewood and unlucky batsman Peter Handscomb overlooked.

    David Warner's return from a year-long suspension from the ball-tampering scandal has meant Australia have three frontline options to open the batting, and even a fourth in Shaun Marsh, if required.

    Finch on Monday all but rubber-stamped his spot, but just who will join him could be determined by form through next month's warm-up games in Brisbane against a New Zealand XI and then in two official warm-up matches in England against Sri Lanka and the host nation.

    Khawaja's rich form through the recent series against India and Pakistan has strengthened his hopes, but there are few batsmen like Warner who can turn a match inside the opening power play.

    What is clear is that Australia prefers the dynamic of a left-and-right-handed combination at the top of the order – and Finch is the only right-hander.

    "There is going to be plenty to think about over the next six, eight, 10 weeks to start working back from that first game (June 1) and try to find our best combination and, probably, our best way to structure up our side," Finch said.

    "Davey's record at the top is unbelievable. 'Uzzie' has been in great nick recently. Whichever way we go, there is probably scope to mix and match that to that tournament as well ... there is nothing set in stone right now."

    Warner has been in brutal form since returning to the Indian Premier League, thumping a century and four half-centuries in seven innings.

    He has been a match-winner in 50-overs cricket, with 4343 runs at 43.43 with a strike rate of 96.55, including 14 centuries, and his turbo-charged style could be particularly damaging on the smaller English grounds.

    Khawaja has 769 runs – the most by an Australian this year – at 59 and a strike rate of 84. However, his form when used at No.3 through his career is modest, averaging 24.33 in 10 innings.

    Finch said he, Warner or Khawaja could drop to No.3, but then added: "I probably have the least experience out of everyone in that position in limited overs cricket. So, like I said, it will be something that we will juggle and we will tinker with. I think a left-hand, right-hand combination probably will be the way that we go – just depending on which left-hander. We will wait and see."

    He has never batted at No.3 in one-day internationals, having been used only twice outside of an opening role – at No.5 last year when he made 0 and 20 against England.

    Finch had been under pressure because of his modest form at home through the summer although there was more to his captaincy than runs, for a strong character was needed to help usher Steve Smith and Warner back into the fold.

    The Victorian rediscovered his touch against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, with twin centuries and twin half-centuries. However, conditions are expected to be considerably different in England, with opponents to target his pads.

    Smith, also returning from suspension, has yet to find top form in the IPL and is still hampered by elbow surgery which has prevented him from throwing properly. Asked if Smith, averaging 41.84 in 108 ODIs, was in Australia's best XI, Finch said: "All of that stuff is up for debate at the moment ... but I would say yes, that would be the short answer."

    The decision to overlook Handscomb has left the squad without a back-up wicketkeeper, although Finch has some experience. He said a specialist gloveman could be found quickly if Alex Carey was hurt, particularly as Handscomb, Matthew Wade and Tim Paine will be in England on an Australia A tour.

    Having ridden an eight-game winning streak to claim series victories over India and Pakistan, hopes of a successful defence have been buoyed.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket...15-p51e8o.html



  28. #28
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    It took two series for people to go from underrating Australia to overrating them. They were never as bad as people thought, but they are also not heavy favorites ahead of England and India.

    Unless England and India meet in the semis, I don’t see them playing the final. People need to calm down - India had 3 bad games and Pakistan are rubbish.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    It took two series for people to go from underrating Australia to overrating them. They were never as bad as people thought, but they are also not heavy favorites ahead of England and India.

    Unless England and India meet in the semis, I don’t see them playing the final. People need to calm down - India had 3 bad games and Pakistan are rubbish.
    Exactly my thoughts. And i am happy that people are overrating them as this will force them to prepare better for matches against them. I believe ind, eng , nz are 3 mist likely teams to reach the sf. For 4th squad aus,sa, pak are going to compete against each other.

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    Pathetic squad. 5 specialist batsmen, one of whom is Shaun Marsh. Not a good idea.

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    Not selecting Hazlewood makes sense, however, surprised Starc is fit enough. What about Kane Richardson? Feel he had a strong case for selection with his BBL performances and especially considering that Jhye dislocated his shoulder...

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExpressPacer View Post
    Pathetic squad. 5 specialist batsmen, one of whom is Shaun Marsh. Not a good idea.
    He plays the anchor role. Smith and Warner are the more dynamic batsman while the likes of Stoinis, Maxwell and Carey are the middle-lower order hitters.

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    They had to make some tough decisions with the return of their key players and the axe fell on Handscomb.

    Josh Hazlewood had some fitness issues and it was best to keep him for Ashes, which still has more than 3 months to start giving him ample time to recover completely and become fit and firing for the last Ashes outside WTC.

    Still, he was their best bowler in Champions Trophy 2017 which was played in England and was a vital cog of their attack, who could keep it tight as well strike with the new ball. I am sure Australia will miss him, and he could have easily replaced Jason Behrendorff to strengthen their attack if he was fit.

    Peter Handscomb could have been selected in place of Nathan Lyon, but due to the dry summers lately they have opted for 2 spinners in the squad and could play them both depending on the pitch and opponent, along with Starc, Cummins and Stoinis to round off the bowling attack.

    So, at best 2 changes were possible.

    Peter Handscomb and Josh Hazlewood in for Nathan Lyon/Nathan Coulternile and Jason Behrendorff.

  34. #34
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    Great to see Khawaja force himself into the squad, he deserves it.

  35. #35
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    Not sure why Behrendorff makes the squad.

  36. #36
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    Weird not selecting Handscomb and Turner.

  37. #37
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    Good squad.

    I think Khawaja has done enough to keep his spot. I'd leave him as opener, and just demote everyone else. No point messing with a performing opening pair too. Play Warner at 3, Smith at 4. And then probably Marsh and Maxwell take the remaining places.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ads101 View Post
    Good squad.

    I think Khawaja has done enough to keep his spot. I'd leave him as opener, and just demote everyone else. No point messing with a performing opening pair too. Play Warner at 3, Smith at 4. And then probably Marsh and Maxwell take the remaining places.
    After Rohit, Warner is still the best ODI opener around and the tone that he sets in the first 15 overs is still crucial for Australia. They will most definitely play him and Finch at the top with Khawaja at 3 and Smith at 4.

    Shaun Marsh will most likely be the one to make way for Smith.
    Last edited by Mamoon; 15th April 2019 at 16:19.

  39. #39
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    Handscomb has been robbed. Pathetic decision to pick 7 bowlers. Jason Beherendorff's selection was unnecessary, should have definitely been replaced by handscomb. Australia will really regret the decision to ignore a really stable middle order batsman.

    I think Ashton turner should have come in place of smith, the aus team already has too many accumulators.

    IIm also really hoping for glory boys smith and warner to avg 14 in the world cup, they have robbed the placed of players who actually earned their way into the team.

  40. #40
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    Hazlewood is a big miss, he was probably Aus best LOI bowler in last 2-3 years before Cummins took over. Even now he is ranked 13 in the ODI rankings after missing quite a lot of white ball cricket which is above very other pacer in the squad except Cummins.


  41. #41
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    Jye Richardson is a mediocre bowler, why would you pick him over Hazlewood, is he still injured?

    Think the 3rd seamer might turn out to be a headache for the Aussies now. Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorf can go for plentym if they don't have a good day.

  42. #42
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    Oh wow! they haven't picked Mitch Marsh either, might haunt them, considering the fact that Stoinis's right arm form finders, are unlikely to work on good batting surfaces.

  43. #43
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    I see them making to Finals. They will play England for the Cup.

    Aus vs Eng Finals will be a juicy one.

  44. #44
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    Five takeaways from Australia’s CWC 2019 squad

    Australia became the second team to announce their squad for the 10-nation ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, to be held in England and Wales.

    Steve Smith and David Warner made their expected returns to the national side after serving out their respective year-long bans.

    But some other veterans were left out, while a couple of exciting young talents also missed the flight to England. At the end of it, what were the biggest talking points? Who were the big gainers and losers? And what does it say about the future of Australian cricket? Let’s dive in.

    Peter Handscomb isn’t first in line yet

    In perhaps the most surprising omission from the squad, Handscomb was left out despite a stellar 2019, in which he has averaged 43.54 and struck at close to 100. Handscomb was one of the lynchpins of Australia’s series win in India. His 117 in Mohali paved the way for Australia’s highest successful ODI chase ever.

    Handscomb can also serve as a back-up wicket-keeper. But with an endless supply of top-order batsmen, with Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch in the form of their lives, and David Warner returning after a year-long absence, Handscomb’s tremendous start to 2019 went unrewarded.

    Josh Hazlewood is a long-format bowler


    The fast bowler has been battling a back injury that has kept him out of cricket since the home Test series against India. There were murmurs abound that Hazlewood was likely to be preserved for the Ashes series later in the summer, and they turned out to be true.

    Hazlewood’s omission goes beyond fitness reasons as he has been named in the Australia A squad for the tour of England. Since the 2015 World Cup final against New Zealand, Hazelwood has played a mere 31 ODIs, all while being an integral member of Australia’s Test attack.

    Explaining his omission, Trevor Hohns, the chairman of selectors said that their focus is on having Hazlewood ready for the Ashes, and it is clear that he doesn’t figure prominently in Australia’s white-ball plans for now.

    A long time coming for Nathan Lyon

    It has taken a while coming, but Nathan Lyon is finally set to make his maiden appearance at the World Cup. Lyon has for long been Australia’s go-to wicket-taker in Tests. In fact, he is Australia’s most successful spinner after Shane Warne in Test cricket. However his ODI career has never fully taken flight, with 25 appearances over seven years. He was trumped by Xavier Doherty in Australia’s squad for the home World Cup in 2015.

    But, after consistently winning Test matches for Australia around the world, he has in recent times got opportunities in the one-day squad. While Adam Zampa's leg-spin might still be their first choice – he is their leading wicket-taker this year, with 18 scalps – Lyon experience will be a useful facet.

    Mitchell Marsh faces a long climb back

    In September 2018, Mitchell Marsh was named joint vice-captain of the Australian Test team, along with Hazlewood. Today, he neither finds a place in Australia’s World Cup squad, nor in their annual list of contracted players for 2019-20.

    Marsh was picked for the Boxing Day Test against India, but returned 19 runs across two innings and went wicketless after 26 overs. He was subsequently dropped and played no further part in Australia’s home summer. Marsh also hasn’t turned out in ODI colours for his country since January 2018.

    He will have a chance to regain the selectors’ faith as he has been named in the A squad for both the one-day and four-day games. But with Australia suddenly boasting a rich pool of all-rounders, with Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell in top form, and several other youngsters, such as Handscomb and Ashton Turner pressing for selection, Marsh faces a tough road back.

    Australia need to go out of the way to protect Alex Carey

    In a stunning move, Australia named a lone specialist wicket-keeper in their squad of 15 for the World Cup. It means that not only does Alex Carey have to shoulder the ‘keeping responsibilities all by himself, but he will also have to take extra care to make sure he doesn’t injure himself.

    Changes to the squad in the event of injury can be effected with the approval of the ICC’s event technical committee, and Australia do have back-up in the form of Travis Head, Matthew Wade and Handscomb, who are all part of the A squad that will also be in England. But Australia cannot turn to any of those players should injury strike in the immediate hours leading up to a match.

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/1179286

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExpressPacer View Post
    Pathetic squad. 5 specialist batsmen, one of whom is Shaun Marsh. Not a good idea.
    Who do you pick/drop instead & why- taking into account recent form, series played & proximity of WC?

  46. #46
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    Very very unfair on Handscomb. The guy has been performing consistently in the recent times.

    And Coulter Nile over Hazlewood ? Really? I mean what were they thinking?

    And yeah Stoinis. The guy is living off that 140 odd against New Zealand in a losing cause two years back. Has been mediocre ever since with both bat and ball. Turner would have been a much better option.

    Non complaints over Behrendorf's selection. He is very good with the new ball and performed well in the JLT shield (Aussie domestic odi competition).

  47. #47
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    Havent been following cricket recently.

    Where did Tim Paine disappear?


    #MPGA

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    Havent been following cricket recently.

    Where did Tim Paine disappear?
    He plays (captains) only tests for them.

    So you have to wait for the Ashes in July.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Not sure why Behrendorff makes the squad.
    Watched an Australian cricket podcast who said he can pick up early wickets , he did dismiss Kohli today in the IPL.

  50. #50
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    Aus batting is top class.

    4 match winners in their batting. Warner/Smith/Finch/Maxwell are match winners on their day and Khwaja is very consistent.

    Excellent side.

  51. #51
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    Just checking some news headlines, the words "cheat" and "disgraced" very popular around the Aussie World Cup squad stories.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  52. #52
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    Ian Chappell, the former Australia captain, sees no place for Usman Khawaja in Australia’s XI for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

    Khawaja has enjoyed a breakthrough year since returning to the one-day international side early in 2019, and has piled on runs relentlessly at the top of the order. He has been the most prolific one-day batsman so far this year, averaging 59.15 for his 769 runs, with two centuries and six fifties in 13 innings.

    However, with David Warner and Steve Smith returning to the side after a year-long ban for ball-tampering, Australia face an influx of top-order batsmen that will necessitate several changes to their line-up.

    Chappell believed Smith and Warner’s inclusion was non-negotiable, and with Khawaja not ideally suited to batting in the middle order, said his exclusion was unavoidable.

    “They [Smith and Warner] have got to play. They’re way and above the rest of the batsmen, as we’ve seen," Chappell told World Wide of Sports. "Early on, when they were out [of the side], the batting really struggled. They paid their price for what they did, and as far as I’m concerned, they’ll be in the best side.

    “Australia tend to do that at World Cup tournaments: pick who they think is their best side and stick with it. They don’t tend to chop and change too much.

    "Khawaja could be one who misses out, with Warner replacing him. Smith will bat at three, I would have thought. It probably comes down to a choice between Shaun Marsh and Khawaja – one of those two will miss out."

    Chappell added that he preferred Marsh over Khawaja, because of the former's one-day record over a longer period of time and the fact that he is better suited to the middle order. “I think [Khawaja] is more effective if he’s opening. [It's] the best place to bat in one-day cricket," said Chappell.

    "The other concern you’ve got is Khawaja’s fielding – he’s not that flash in the field, in my opinion. If he’s not going to open, I’m not sure that there’s a spot for him. Marsh has a terrific one-day record and he’s certainly done it over a longer period than Khawaja."

    However, Aaron Finch, the Australia ODI captain, believes there is room for both David Warner and Usman Khawaja in the top order.

    Chappell also backed the inclusion of youngsters Jason Behrendorff and Jhye Richardson ahead of Josh Hazlewood, and picked Adam Zampa to be his first-choice spinner over Nathan Lyon.

    "In the interest of a bit of variety, Behrendorff might come in [ahead of Richardson] to give them another left-armer,” he said. "You’ve got [Marcus] Stoinis as a right-arm quickie as the all-rounder, so they might go for variety.

    “As far as the spinners go, I think the first choice will be the leggie, Zampa. But as the tournament goes on, and particularly if the pitches are starting to wear a bit, you could well see both of them in, although they may feel that [Glenn] Maxwell gives them the off-spin option without having to play the second spinner."


    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/1179325


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  53. #53
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    Handscomb and Hazlewood should have been picked who have been both very good in ODIs.

  54. #54
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    Aussies look good for semi final spot

  55. #55
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    And just like that Australia have become serious contender for the title

  56. #56
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    Solid squad if you ask me one of the best announced so far.


    IN PAKISTAN LIES OUR DELIVERANCE,DEFENCE, AND HONOUR.
    -Muhammad Ali Jinnah

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by QalandarFan View Post
    Solid squad if you ask me one of the best announced so far.
    It will be the best, until Pakistan's Squad is announced.

  58. #58
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    Very Strong team.

    Favourites now stand as:
    ENG
    IND/AUS
    NZ
    SA/PAK
    WI

    No chance for the rest. Lol

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arsalan Pro View Post
    It will be the best, until Pakistan's Squad is announced.
    Hai jazba junoon
    To himmat na haar

    These two verses perfectly fit here.

  60. #60
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    'Can't see there being any issues' – Finch happy to have Smith, Warner back

    Aaron Finch, the Australia limited-overs captain, welcomed the returns of David Warner and Steve Smith, and expressed confidence that the duo's reintegration into the team would be seamless.

    Smith and Warner were named in Australia's 15-man squad for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 that was announced on Monday, 15 April. The World Cup is set to be the first international tournament back for both players, after they were handed year-long bans by Cricket Australia for their involvement in the Cape Town ball-tampering incident.

    "As far as I'm concerned, they've done everything they've been asked [to] in these last 12 months," Finch said. "They were very good around the group and continuing to do everything they can that's in the best interests of the side, and that's a real key.

    "Knowing them both personally as well as I do, I don't think that will be any kind of issue whatsoever. They're both great guys and I can't see there being any kinds of issues."

    Australia have made a fresh start since the duo's bans, under Finch in the limited-overs formats, and Tim Paine in Test cricket, alongside new head coach Justin Langer. They have repeatedly stressed on a cultural overhaul and having identified a new way forward for the team and its conduct on the field going forward.

    Smith and Warner have already been introduced to that new culture, when they spent time with the squad in the United Arab Emirates, ahead of the five-match one-day international series against Pakistan.

    Trevor Hohns, the chairman of selectors, said that members from the CA board have been in touch with the players, to make sure they fall in line with what is going to be expected from them when they eventually return.

    "There have been a lot of people speaking to them from Cricket Australia," Hohns said. "I'm quite comfortable and quite confident that they know what is expected and they know the environment they are stepping into, which is quite different to when they left.

    "There are enough hard-nosed people around the Australian cricket team to make sure it [keeping the team culture intact] does happen."

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/1180168

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    After Rohit, Warner is still the best ODI opener around and the tone that he sets in the first 15 overs is still crucial for Australia. They will most definitely play him and Finch at the top with Khawaja at 3 and Smith at 4.

    Shaun Marsh will most likely be the one to make way for Smith.
    Im not sure of that. I think khwaja may have to make way. He should be a back up opener. It should be

    Warner
    Finch
    Smith
    Marsh
    Maxwell
    Stoinis
    Carey

    Marsh offers quite a bit if stability in that middle order. If they want to include khwaja they can play him at 3 and drop stoinis instead . Finch can be the 6th bowler if necessary.

  62. #62
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    Ignoring Josh is shocking and unacceptable. Selecting Jason over him is beyond me. Not sure what the selectors are trying to show.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercurial View Post
    Ignoring Josh is shocking and unacceptable. Selecting Jason over him is beyond me. Not sure what the selectors are trying to show.
    Ummm... maybe that you can't select a guy for a WC who hasn't played a single game of cricket at any level for the last 5 months due to injury? That seems pretty reasonable right?

    Like only select a fit player? Or one who has any form at all in a competitive match? Big statement but do you even know the details you are speaking about?

  64. #64
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    Ignoring Mitchell Marsh is also kind of shocking, provided he is not injured, as he is better than Stoinis for sure in this format.

  65. #65
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    It's a very good squad. They are rightfully among the firm favorites.

  66. #66
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    Australia's Confidence Has Peaked After Winning Against India, Pakistan: Marcus Stoinis

    Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis says that the team's confidence has peaked significantly after their victories in the ODI series against India and Pakistan this year, just in time for the upcoming ICC World Cup in England and Wales. Australia came from 0-2 down against India to win the series, while they managed to whitewash Pakistan 5-0, thus winning eight ODIs in a row. Both the India and Pakistan ODI series were away from home.

    "I think everyone is really confident. To win eight games in a row away from home was very important for us. We needed it. We had lost a lot of games over the last year or so," Stoinis said.

    "Its good timing. Everyone started to believe in each other and we started to play well as a team."

    Stoinis, currently representing his franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), indicated that cricket was all about the minutiae and that they had learned from the times that they had lost.

    "From the outside, it might look like it happened all of a sudden, but it also shows that the game of cricket is only about minor details. Even in the time we were losing, we learnt a lot, started getting closer in a lot of games," he said.

    Stoinis also believes that the presence of David Warner and Steve Smith, set to make their comebacks into international cricket, will reinforce the 2015 World Cup champions.

    "It (their return) is a massive boost. People have stepped up in the last few months. We have started winning games consistently. It all adds to the mixture and definitely adds to a World Cup winning combination,"

    Australia will begin their 2019 World Cup campaign against Afghanistan on June 1 at the Bristol County Ground.

    https://sports.ndtv.com/world-cup-20...toinis-2028075

  67. #67
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    Warner batting ‘in a different league'

    David Warner and Steve Smith will be "welcomed back with open arms" by Australia's World Cup squad, with the pair's IPL form vindicating their selection for the global 50-over tournament.

    That's the view of Australia ODI allrounder Glenn Maxwell, who conceded his own ambitions to move up Australia's batting order will likely be curtailed by the duo’s return to the national team.

    The 12-month bans handed to Smith and Warner for their roles in last year's ball-tampering scandal expired in late March and they will link up with the Australian team in a week's time when Australia's pre-World Cup camp begins in Brisbane on May 2.

    Warner is the IPL's leading run-scorer so far this season, although his early exit from the tournament that doesn't finish until May 12 means he will likely relinquish that title, with 574 runs from 10 matches at an average of 71.75 and strike rate north of 146.

    "David Warner is batting in a different league at the moment," Maxwell told SEN on Wednesday.

    "He's been absolutely phenomenal, some of the shots he's been playing.

    "If he can keep that form going into the World Cup then Australia are going to be in a really good position.

    "With him, Finchy (captain Aaron Finch) and (Usman) Khawaja as our probable top three, it's going to be an exciting tournament."

    Smith, who has assumed the captaincy of the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL but still has another year of being banned from holding an official leadership position in Australian cricket, started slower than Warner but has recently hit his strides with back-to-back fifties.

    Smith has scored 295 runs in eight innings, at 49.16 with a strike rate above 116, and Maxwell said the pair’s efforts meant there was no doubt they deserved their World Cup spots.

    Asked if Australia are ready to have them back, Maxwell replied: "They certainly are. If you look at the way they are playing over in India at the moment they'll welcome them back with open arms.

    "They've been outstanding over there.

    "Not just their batting but their leadership skills … their cricket knowledge is going to be really helpful for Finchy."

    The return of Smith and Warner to a team that won away ODI series against India and Pakistan in March means the Aussies will enter their World Cup defence full of confidence.

    "The way we performed in the last couple of series, it has shown the world we have the cattle to trouble anyone that walks on the field against us," Maxwell said.

    "Hopefully we can turn up on each day and really take it to whoever is playing us.

    "Once we put the right team on the board and everyone plays their roles, we'll be right."

    Australia's warm-up camp will include three unofficial 50-over matches against a New Zealand XI that will be without their biggest names who are remaining with their IPL sides, before warm-up fixtures against England and Sri Lanka in the UK.

    Australia's opening match of the World Cup tournament is against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1 from 10.30pm AEDT. Australia's World Cup matches and the finals will be broadcast on the Nine Network, while Fox Sports will carry coverage of every match from the 50-over showpiece event.

    https://www.cricket.com.au/news/glen...and/2019-04-25

  68. #68
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    Glenn Maxwell was relieved to see his name in Australia's 15-man squad for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2015, and said he felt confident about putting on a good show at the event.

    Maxwell has enjoyed a purple patch in recent times, and that solidified his claim to a spot in Australia's World Cup squad. For people on the outside, Maxwell's inclusion seemed a formality. Maxwell himself wasn't as sure, though, and his first reaction was one of relief after the news was out.

    Maxwell has been central to Australia's resurgence in the fifty-over format. So far in 2019, he has scored 458 runs at 41.63, striking at 126.51. He made noteworthy contributions in the ODIs against India and Pakistan, as Australia won both series away from home.

    "I've definitely gone through stages over the last 12 months where I've doubted if I might even have been there," Maxwell told SEN Radio when asked of his World Cup selection. "To be actually finally named you look back and feel proud of all the work you've put in."

    Maxwell said his recent form gives him confidence ahead of the World Cup. "To perform the way I did in India and Dubai gave me a lot of confidence going forward, that I was still good enough to dominate and do really well at this level.

    "That's what gives me confidence for this World Cup: I'm coming in in good international form, and there's a bit of trust within the team to play my role. I feel like I've got a certain role now which is a nice feeling as well."

    Despite that, Maxwell knows there's work to be done. His recent runs have come in Asian conditions, which are vastly different to what they're likely to be in England. So he's signed up with Lancashire in a bid to prepare as best as he can.

    "I'm going to need a slightly different technique to what I needed in Dubai but that's something I'm working on over here and was the whole reason I wanted to come over," he said. "To get myself prepared for the World Cup, and make sure I'm not leaving any stone unturned."

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/1198309


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  69. #69
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    Australia allrounder Glenn Maxwell has issued a warning to bowlers ahead of this year's World Cup, with the white-ball star predicting high scores to be the norm during the 50-over showpiece.

    Maxwell is currently getting a first-hand look at many of the venues that will be used at the World Cup during a county stint with Lancashire and has already witnessed plenty of large totals during England’s domestic 50-over competition.

    He was part of the Lancashire side that hit their highest-ever one-day score earlier this month when they reached 9-406, and still lost to Nottinghamshire's 7-417.

    That match happened at Trent Bridge, where England racked up a record 481 against Australia last June. The Aussies will play the West Indies, featuring power-hitters Chris Gayle and Andre Russell, and Bangladesh at the high-scoring venue during their World Cup campaign.

    "I've chased nearly 900 runs in 100 overs in my last two games at that venue," Maxwell joked on radio station SEN.

    "I'd be surprised if there wasn't a bunch of 400 (runs innings scored in) games in the World Cup.

    "The wicket squares go right across the ground, the outfields are fast and hard and the wickets are playing so well."

    There were three innings that scored in excess of 400 at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, but the recent trend of 50-over cricket around the world has seen bowlers struggle to keep scoring down as good batting pitches and shorter boundaries become the norm.

    Despite having cashed in himself on good batting tracks for Australia against Pakistan in the UAE last month, Maxwell is somewhat concerned by the upward trend of scoring in recent times.

    "I don't like them getting too high," Maxwell said.

    "It does make it entertaining, but it does get to the point of you don't know where to bowl.

    "It comes down to the wickets being produced. If they've got nothing in them – no movement, no swing, no spin – it makes it very hard for teams to defend.

    "If there's nothing in the wicket it makes it extremely hard for the bowling team to compete."

    Maxwell cemented his spot in Australia's squad for the World Cup when he produced knocks of 71, 98 and 70 against Pakistan during their most recent one-day series and will join up with his national teammates in Brisbane later this week before heading back to England for the seven-week tournament.

    The 30-year-old expects conditions to be different for batting during the World Cup and knows he will have to alter his game somewhat to find different avenues to score.

    "I'm preparing to have a technique that's going to be successful in these conditions," he said.

    "It's about finding a different way to score runs than I was in India and Dubai where I was playing a lot off the back foot and being really low to the ground.

    "Here you've got to be a lot sharper on your feet and hit through the line a bit more."

    2019 World Cup

    Australia's squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa

    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

    July 14: Final, Lord's

    https://www.cricket.com.au/news/glen...ire/2019-04-29


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  70. #70
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    'This was a stepping stone' – David Warner eyes World Cup after IPL blitz

    David Warner, the Australia opener, has not played international cricket in almost 13 months. He, however, will go into ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 brimming with confidence, after signing off from the Indian Premier League in style.

    Warner, the leading run-getter in the tournament so far, scored a fiery 81 off 56 balls in his final appearance for Sunrisers Hyderabad this season, helping his side cross the 200-run mark.

    "It is great to get out there and do your job properly," he said after the game on Monday, 29 April. "It comes back to basics, backing your gameplan and instincts. I did that and put the team in a good position. It is going back to being still while batting."

    Warner's supreme form for Hyderabad – 692 runs at 69.2 with a strike rate of 143.86 – has coincided with Australia's swift and sudden resurgence in one-day international cricket. After dealing with severe setbacks in the last 12 months, the 2015 World Cup champions found their footing recently, claiming crucial victories in away series against India and Pakistan.

    With big players like Warner finding form ahead of the World Cup, Australia are in contention as tournament favourites once again. The left-hander has had ideal preparation in the IPL, and is now ready to replicate those performances at the international level.

    "This World Cup you will see some high scores, playing in England," he said. "We are the reigning champions and for us, it is going out there backing our abilities and being our best selves. I am looking forward to it and this was a stepping stone to that."

    Warner was handed a 12-month suspension after his involvement in a ball-tampering incident in Newlands last year. He believes the break has helped him grow on and off the pitch.

    "I have had time off to work harder at my game," he said. "Put the bat down for 16-18 weeks and just worked hard on being the best father and husband, that has worked for me. I try and always do that around the team, be the funny man and prankster and try my best to give what is good for the team."

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/1204408

  71. #71
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    Apr 2009
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    Recharged Finch carries home truths from tough season into World Cup

    Aaron Finch, the Australia limited-overs captain, said his recent golden run of form has reassured him of his own strengths and helped him overcome the "huge anxiety" he felt when he was struggling.

    Finch finished the tour of UAE, where he led Australia to a 5-0 sweep of Pakistan, with 451 runs in five one-day internationals at an average of 112.75. But before that, in 11 ODI innings across series against South Africa (home) and India (home and away), he crossed 30 just three times, with just one half-century. He also had a string of single-digit scores in Twenty20 Internationals and lost his place in the Test side after the Indian bowlers found him out.

    Opening up about his mental state when the chips were down, the skipper admitted to feeling frustration and doubting if he'd even make it to the World Cup squad. Thinking of the tradition of Australian greats who had previously led the side to success did little to assuage his fears.

    "[There was ] huge anxiety," he said in a chat with SEN radio. "Based on the World Cup coming up, at being the captain of the side and not leading from the front ... I was getting really frustrated that I was preparing and doing everything that I thought I could to succeed, and it just wasn't happening.

    "I was starting to think negatively. You walk out to bat and you see [India's Jasprit] Bumrah at the top of his mark and you think, 'here we go again' ... In the back of your mind you're thinking the World Cup is not far away and as a captain I could be left out of the World Cup squad. Then you start putting unrealistic pressure on yourself."

    His struggles affected his captaincy, he added. "[In] a rough patch, it can be tough to commit to your leadership. You're trying to talk to the boys about game plans, where [they] need to improve, but I've not been doing my own job as well as I could have. There were times when I'd think, 'I'm in no position to be criticising people about their game when I'm not doing well myself'."

    Finch insisted there wasn't anything he did too differently as he made his way back into the runs. The turnaround comes at a fortuitous time for Australia, allowing the defending champions to go into the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales high on confidence after series wins in India and UAE. For the captain himself, it was a much-needed boost.

    "It reassured me that I'm a pretty good player. You don't lose your skill overnight," Finch said . "Nothing had really changed ... I was able to spark something. I went to a more positive spin."

    A break of a few weeks before the team get together for World Cup training was also vital in recharging the batteries and keeping alive the passion, he felt. He has spoken before about how playing Test cricket as well gave him new perspective and new respect for players turning out in all formats.

    "It's just physically impossible to be on for that amount of time, without any down time, without time to go home and lay on the couch and spend time with your family and go to a favourite restaurant," Finch explained.

    And he felt David Warner, his prospective opening partner, too, had benefitted from forced time away from the game. "He's come back with a huge hunger, to come back and dominate international cricket again," Finch said of Warner. "When you have your dream taken away from you, I imagine there'd be something deep inside that burns strongly. He's a super player, we know how strong he can be ... [It's important to] embrace him back into the culture."

    https://www.cricketworldcup.com/news/1204891

  72. #72
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    Apr 2009
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    Australia
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    'It's all rosy' – Starc on Smith, Warner return

    Mitchell Starc, the Australia left-arm pace bowler, has said the team have moved on from the ball-tampering incident, and Steve Smith and David Warner, two of the three men at the heart of it, are settling right back in.

    Smith and Warner have joined their team-mates as they gather for a pre-World Cup training camp. It is their first time being part of the set-up since they served their year-long bans, and Starc is confident the transition will be smooth.

    "It's onwards, upwards and focused on the World Cup," he said on Thursday, 2 May. "It's all rosy."

    The duo were not part of the squad that swept Pakistan in the one-day internationals recently in the United Arab Emirates, but had been welcomed into the dressing room then to get a taste of things under coach Justin Langer and captain Aaron Finch. Starc, who was back home then, had not been a part of that meeting, but had his own interactions with them as part of their reintegration.

    "We've all had our meetings and moved on," he said. "The meeting I was involved in with ... 95% wasn't about Dave and Steve and the group. It was more about where the team was going."

    The former captain and vice-captain will go into the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 with the match-practice of playing the Indian Premier League. Smith, who struggled early on – a troublesome elbow doing him no favours – raised his game when he was handed Rajasthan Royals captaincy, while Warner was in blazing form, accumulating 692 runs at an average of 69.2 for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

    Starc, like so many others, was impressed. "He (Warner) has been on fire over there, along with Steve, so that's great for him and great for the group," he said. "He's a world-class player and we're excited to have him back."

    https://www.cricketworldcup.com/news/1205855

  73. #73
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    Oct 2004
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    Former Australian skipper Mark Taylor has made a huge call on Usman Khawaja, suggesting Shaun Marsh should hold his place ahead of the Queenslander.

    It’s a big call with Khawaja the leading ODI batsman in the world so far this year, with 769 runs at 59.15 and a strike rate of 8.358, including six fifties and two centuries.

    But with David Warner returning to the fold after his ball tampering ban and skipper Aaron Finch returning to form in the UAE series against Pakistan with a record five-match haul, it appears three players can’t fit into two spots.

    Finch’s two centuries and three fifties have helped him to second place overall in the world rankings with 634 runs at 52.83 and a strike rate of 81.38 — still 135 runs behind Khawaja.

    But Taylor has said he would pick Marsh ahead of Khawaja, making the Queenslander a passenger in Australia’s campaign to snag back-to-back World Cup trophies.

    “At this stage, I just think — and I am probably looking into a crystal ball — I think if the pitches are doing a bit, that will make everyone be less effective,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

    “I just see Shaun in one-day cricket, and having done it over a number of years, being the more likely option at No.3 or four than Khawaja.

    “As I said, it is probably a roll of the dice. Khawaja could turn around and say: ‘In recent times I have deserved it more than he’ but that is going to be tough one for the selectors.”

    The telling stat for Khawaja is that he averages just 24.33 in 10 innings at number 3 while Marsh averages 45.12 in 19 innings at number three.

    Steve Smith has the best average at first drop, having scored almost 2500 runs at 52.60 including seven centuries and 15 fifties.

    While Khawaja hasn’t batted lower than three, Marsh has batted down to seven, with an average of 48.33 in seven innings at no. 4.

    Taylor admitted the battle for spots is likely Marsh and Khawaja as well as Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa for the main spinners spot.

    It follows former captain Ian Chappell who gave Khawaja little chance of playing a major role at the World Cup when the squad was announced.

    What appears likely is Finch and Warner will reconnect at the top of the order, looking to add to their 2126 runs as a partnership, Australia’s fourth most prolific of all-time.

    Finch has backed Warner to continue his hot IPL form as he appears desperate to prove himself on his return to the international set up.

    Warner averaged 69.20 in 12 innings, including a century and eight fifties.

    “He’s coming back with a huge hunger, not just to perform well for his franchise, but to dominate international cricket again,” Finch told SEN yesterday.

    “When you have your dream taken away from you for 12 months, I can imagine there’s something inside you that burns really strongly.”

    The 2019 Cricket World Cup will be live and on demand on Kayo Sports for just $25 per month for two devices at once on Apple, Android and Telstra TV, for Apple and Google Android smartphones, on web browsers and via Google Chromecast Ultra devices. Click here for your free trial.

    Finch admitted he feared for his own spot on the team after his recent barren run, although he believed he had now returned to form with a huge result in the UAE.

    “(I was feeling) huge anxiety based on a World Cup coming up, being captain of the side and not having the output I wanted,” he said.

    “I was getting really frustrated that, again, I was preparing and doing everything I thought I could to succeed but it just wasn’t happening. I don’t know why. It was probably just my own mindset, I was starting to think a bit negatively.

    “The support I got from the players and coaches was unbelievable, but still in the back of your mind you think: ‘there’s a World Cup not far away, as a captain of the side I could be left out’. Then you start putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to perform.

    “(Recent good form) just reassured me that I still am a pretty good player. You don’t lose your skill overnight.”

    Finch went 30 international innings across all formats without a century before a spectacular response in the UAE with an incredible 451 runs at 112.75 in the five-match series against Pakistan.

    https://www.news.com.au/sport/cricke...7fefa07a86b935


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  74. #74
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    Oct 2004
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    Justin Langer has revealed the “biggest lesson” of his sporting career and why there will be very little, if any interaction with the Barmy Army this winter from the Australians.

    Speaking on Australia’s first day of World Cup training camp in Brisbane on Friday, Langer said he learned the hard way to not buy into any of the supporter group’s chanting.

    The Australia coach in 2002 made 250 against England in the Boxing Day Test, which saw the Barmy Army take aim at Brett Lee, who had been accused of throwing two years prior.

    “These people stand behind a fence drinking beer with most of them 50 kilos overweight making ridiculous comments,” Langer said at the time. “It’s easy for someone to say that from behind a fence, they’re within their rights because they’ve paid their money, but there’s still some integrity in life, I think.”

    Stream every match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Live & Anytime in HD on KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14 day free trial >

    “This is the biggest, probably lesson of my sporting career,” he said on Friday.

    “I just got 250 so I walked in, I think I’m Viv Richards, I feel like I’ve got the gold chain and the chest out and like I’m the king ... and I made one comment about the Barmy Army because I was sticking up for Brett Lee.

    “Then they start singing the song about the seven dwarfs, so you don’t mess with the Barmy Army. I’m not messing with the Barmy Army.”

    Langer is unlikely to be the main target of the Barmy Army’s chants this British summer when the Cricket World Cup and Ashes take place back-to-back.

    David Warner and Steve Smith likely will be - given their 12-month suspensions for ball-tampering - as will the majority of the team.

    Langer said the group is under no illusion that it will be given an easy ride in England, but added that he is prepared to stand up for his players.

    “We’ll be friends and we’ll be bantering and we’ll be having some fun but I’m never messing with the Barmy Army ... the songs are humiliating. At the same time, we will stick up for each other.”

    He added: “I think there’s going to be plenty of spotlight on the whole team. The boys are big boys now, they’ve worked through a real tough 12 months, they’ll be thicker skinned for it,” he said.

    “There’s no real remedy for it, we know what we’re going to get, we’ll be ready for it.

    “There will be some strategies, personal and collective strategies in place so together we’re moving in the right direction and going on with what we love doing which is playing cricket and World Cup and Ashes cricket - it doesn’t get much better than that.”

    https://www.foxsports.com.au/cricket...dab81ada5b158d


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  75. #75
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    Mar 2016
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    Sheffield
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    Shaun Marsh shouldn't even be in the squad to be honest. Csnt trust him to be consistent.

  76. #76
    Debut
    Apr 2009
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    Australia
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    Glenn Maxwell ready to revive floating role at CWC19

    Glenn Maxwell, the Australia all-rounder, is ready to assume the floating role he executed to great effect in the past at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.

    Maxwell was Australia's third highest run-getter in the 2015 World Cup, accumulating 324 runs in eight matches at 64.80, and even scored his maiden, and so far only, one-day international century in the tournament. Maxwell performed a key floating role during that campaign, and in the build-up to this year's tournament, he has been doing something similar.

    He was slated as low as No.7 by the Australian think-tank earlier in the year, but he has since batted at every position in the middle order, helping the side win eight consecutive away ODIs.

    "I joked about this, but as soon as it gets past about the 15th over and we're none down, I put them [his pads] on and just wait there," he said on the sidelines of a training camp in Brisbane. "But I generally work with JL [coach Justin Langer], just keep asking him what he wants from me, and it'll get to a point where he'll say, 'Go put 'em on'.

    "He'll send a message out to Aaron [Finch], ask him what he thinks, and that's how we get to that decision. It was something that I did reasonably well in 2015, so we're sort of trying to emulate that in this World Cup. Hopefully I can do it similar."

    The 30-year-old has been in spectacular form this year. In 13 matches, Maxwell has scored 458 runs at an average of 41.63, from across the middle order. A lot of credit for that, he said, went to the foundations laid by Finch and Usman Khawaja at the top.

    "The top order has been really successful as well, I've been able to ride off the back of that, come in at different times and expand on really good starts," he said. "We saw in the UAE that they performed extremely well – Aaron and Usman were outstanding at the top – so for me to just ride on the back of that, and play a different role was really enjoyable."

    Having made himself unavailable for IPL 2019, Maxwell joined Lancashire to play in the County Championship in England, to help suss the conditions ahead of the premier event. "It was pretty good," he said of his stint. "I was lucky enough to be training at Old Trafford every day with a centre wicket, so I was able to get used to conditions.

    "The wicket was really good. Every day I was facing Jimmy Anderson and Graham Onions so [they were] decent net sessions as well. I was very blessed with what I had."

    Australia will open their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan on 1 June in Bristol.

    https://www.cricketworldcup.com/news/1208983

  77. #77
    Debut
    Apr 2013
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    Karachi
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    Jhye Richardson withdrawn from World Cup Squad

    Australian fast bowler, Jhye Richardson, has been withdrawn from Australia’s World Cup Squad as he continues to recover from the shoulder dislocation he suffered in the UAE in March.

    After a recent scan and testing with the team’s medical staff, it was determined that Jhye was not going to be ready to bowl at the level required for him to be considered for selection at the start of the World Cup.

    Bupa Team Support Physiotherapist, David Beakley, said:

    “This is obviously very disappointing news for the team and for Jhye, who has been exceptional throughout his rehabilitation process.

    “After his most recent assessment and attempting to bowl in the nets, it was clear that Jhye was not progressing as fast as required and therefore, in consultation with selectors, we made the decision to withdraw him from the squad.

    “Jhye will continue with his rehabilitation and we will look to resume bowling in the coming weeks. At this stage we are still hopeful that he could be available for the Australia A tour of England.”

    Kane Richardson has been called up to replace Jhye in Australia’s World Cup Squad.

    Australian Men’s World Cup Squad:
    Aaron Finch (c) (Victoria)
    Usman Khawaja (Queensland)
    David Warner (New South Wales)
    Steve Smith (New South Wales)
    Shaun Marsh (Western Australia)
    Glenn Maxwell (Victoria)
    Marcus Stoinis (Western Australia)
    Alex Carey (vc) (South Australia)
    Pat Cummins (vc) (New South Wales)
    Mitchell Starc (New South Wales)
    Kane Richardson (South Australia)
    Nathan Coulter-Nile (Western Australia)
    Jason Behrendorff (Western Australia)
    Nathan Lyon (New South Wales)
    Adam Zampa (South Australia)

    Australia’s World Cup Fixture:
    Match 1 – June 1
    Afghanistan v Australia
    Bristol County Ground, Bristol
    1:30pm (Local Time)

    Match 2 – June 6
    Australia v West Indies
    Trent Bridge, Nottingham
    10:30am (Local Time)

    Match 3 – June 9
    India v Australia
    The Oval, London
    10:30am (Local Time)

    Match 4 – June 12
    Australia v Pakistan
    Country Ground Taunton, Taunton
    10:30am (Local Time)

    Match 5 – June 15
    Sri Lanka v Australia
    The Oval, London
    10:30am (Local Time)

    Match 6 - June 20
    Australia v Bangladesh
    Trent Bridge, Nottingham
    10:30am (Local Time)

    Match 7 – June 25
    England v Australia
    Lord’s, London
    10:30am (Local Time)

    Match 8 – June 29
    New Zealand v Australia
    Lord’s, London
    1:30pm (Local Time)

    Match 9 – July 6
    Australia v South Africa
    Old Trafford, Manchester
    1:30pm (Local Time)

    Semi Finals – July 9 and 11

    World Cup Final – July 14

    AUSTRALIA A ONE DAY SQUAD ANNOUNCED
    “The National Selection Panel has announced its fourteen-player squad for the Australia A Tour of England starting on June 20,” Hohns said.

    “The tour will see Australia A play five one day matches against County teams while the ICC World Cup is underway. This will provide us with the appropriate coverage to bring players into the Australian World Cup squad if required.

    “Australia A will open its tour of England with a one-day match against Northamptonshire at The County Ground, Northamptonshire.”

    Australia A Men’s One Day Squad:
    Travis Head (c) (South Australia)
    Matthew Wade (Tasmania)
    Will Pucovski (Victoria)
    Peter Handscomb (Victoria)
    Ashton Turner (Western Australia)
    Mitch Marsh (vc) (Western Australia)
    D’Arcy Short (Western Australia)
    Kurtis Patterson (New South Wales)
    Ashton Agar (Western Australia)
    Michael Neser (Queensland)
    James Pattinson (Victoria)
    Josh Hazlewood (vc) (New South Wales)
    Kane Richardson (South Australia)
    Sean Abbott (New South Wales)

    Australia A Tour of England Fixture:
    Match 1 – June 20
    Australia A v Northamptonshire
    The County Ground, Northamptonshire
    TBC (Local Time)

    Match 2 – June 23
    Australia A v Derbyshire
    County Ground, Derby
    TBC (Local Time)

    Match 3 – June 25
    Australia A v Worcestershire
    New Road, Worcester
    TBC (Local Time)

    Match 4 – June 30
    Australia A v Gloucestershire
    Bristol Country Ground, Bristol
    TBC (Local Time)

    Match 5 – July 2
    Australia A v Gloucestershire
    Bristol Country Ground, Bristol
    TBC (Local Time)

    AUSTRALIA A FOUR DAY TOUR MATCH SQUAD ANNOUNCED
    “We have announced a fourteen-player squad for the Australia A Four Day Tour of England starting on July 7,” Hohns said.

    “The tour will see Australia A play three four-day tour matches in the build up to the Ashes Tour of England, providing the players with a good opportunity to push their case for selection.

    “We have Joe Burns, Cameron Bancroft, Marnus Labuschagne, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle and Daniel Worrall in our sights but they have not been included in the squad and will continue to play through this period with their County teams.

    “However, we have made it clear that strong form with their County teams will be taken into account for selection in the Ashes squad or the Australia v Australia A tour match.

    “Following the four-day tour match in Hampshire we will be in a position to announce our squad for the Ashes.”

    Australia A Four Day Squad:
    Tim Paine (c) (Tasmania)
    Marcus Harris (Victoria)
    Kurtis Patterson (New South Wales)
    Will Pucovski (Victoria)
    Travis Head (vc) (South Australia)
    Peter Handscomb (Victoria)
    Matthew Wade (Tasmania)
    Mitch Marsh (Western Australia)
    Michael Neser (Queensland)
    Jon Holland (Victoria)
    James Pattinson (Victoria)
    Jackson Bird (Tasmania)
    Josh Hazlewood (vc) (New South Wales)
    Chris Tremain (Victoria)

    Australia A Four Day Fixture:
    Match 1 – July 7
    Australia A v Sussex
    Arundel Castle Cricket Ground, Arundel
    TBC (Local Time)

    Match 2 – July 13
    Australia A v England Lions
    The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury
    TBC (Local Time)

    Match 3 – July 23
    Australia v Australia A
    Ageas Bowl, Hampshire
    TBC (Local Time)

    2019/20 CONTRACT LIST ANNOUNCED
    “We believe the 2019/20 contract list provides us with a versatile group of players who can represent Australia across all three formats over the contract period,” Hohns said.

    “Our key criteria focused on selecting a pool of players who are going to help us in our ambition to win the upcoming World Cup and Ashes Series in England, and who can also play the various formats over the course of the Australian summer.”

    Patrick Cummins
    Nathan Coulter-Nile
    Alex Carey
    Aaron Finch
    Usman Khawaja
    Peter Handscomb
    Marcus Harris
    Travis Head
    Josh Hazlewood
    Nathan Lyon
    Glenn Maxwell
    Shaun Marsh
    Tim Paine
    James Pattinson
    Jhye Richardson
    Steve Smith
    Mitchell Starc
    Marcus Stoinis
    David Warner
    Adam Zampa
    Last edited by giri26; 8th May 2019 at 10:47.


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  78. #78
    Debut
    Apr 2009
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    'I want to be a well-rounded bowler' – Kane Richardson revels in call-up

    Kane Richardson admitted he was "over the moon" at receiving a call-up to the Australian squad for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019, a tournament that Australia coach Justin Langer is calling "the Olympics of cricket".

    Four years ago, Richardson, the pace bowler, was on the fringes of selection, but missed the cut for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand. He was set to watch from the sidelines at this year's event in England and Wales too, before an injury to Jhye Richardson left a spot open.

    Kane was sympathetic to Jhye's misfortune, but admitted that he was delighted at the chance to live out a "childhood dream". "I remember four years ago missing out on at that 2015 team," he told reporters on Wednesday, 8 May. "I was 24 then and I thought at the next one I'll be 28, so that's probably my shot.

    "I still wasn't thinking about it a month ago. But to get the call yesterday that struck me the most. I remember watching the World Cup in England in 1999, that was the one I went to video store and rented the VHS and watched that back! It kind of hit me then that these things don't come around.

    "It's the Olympics of cricket, is what JL (Justin Langer) has been calling it."

    Richardson, who has 29 wickets from 20 one-day internationals, expects to play a role with death bowling, as he did in the recent series win against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. "In the UAE, I think that is what JL was happy with, those two games I played and bowled right at the end in crunch time," he said.

    "I think that's my strength, but I want to be well-rounded bowler who can bowl at any stage of the innings. If I'm to play a role at the World Cup I've got to be able to do that as well."

    A disappointed Jhye, meanwhile, was keen to turn his focus on being ready to stake a claim for the Ashes. "To be brutally honest it hasn't been that easy to accept; World Cups don't come around every day," he said after his dislocated shoulder ruled him out.

    "It helps a lot knowing there's something just as big (the Ashes) around the corner. To have that to aim for puts a lot of clarity in my mind that playing for Australia is what I want to do."

    https://www.cricketworldcup.com/news/1213143

  79. #79
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    Steve Smith delivered an early message to world cricket and Mitchell Starc made an impressive comeback but Australia's World Cup preparations hit a speed bump in their second warm-up clash against New Zealand.

    The home side made 6-277, led by Smith's unbeaten 89 off 77 balls, at Brisbane's Allan Border Field but the undermanned Black Caps (3-283) stormed to victory with 16 balls remaining.

    Will Young, who is not in New Zealand's World Cup squad and is nursing a shoulder injury, thumped 130 off 132 balls before he was run out but by then he had all but locked the best-of-three series at 1-1. The final practice match will be on Friday.

    Spearhead Starc, playing his first game in three months after a pectoral issue, was nursed through the innings but claimed 2-14 off five overs and touched speeds of up to 148km/h. He struck with his third ball, bowling Hamish Rutherford, and returned later to torpedo George Worker (56 off 79 balls) with a searing yorker but he had little help on a day fellow quick Jhye Richardson was ruled out of the World Cup because of a shoulder injury.

    Kane Richardson, drafted into the 15-man World Cup squad as a replacement for his namesake, was wicketless (0-52 off 10 overs) for the second-straight match. What was clear was that the Australian attack lacked menace with Pat Cummins rested. Nathan Coulter-Nile was also given the game off.

    Richardson said it was great to have Starc, the player of the tournament at the 2015 World Cup, back in the fold.

    "If he's swinging the ball at pace, he's going to take wickets," he said.

    Young shared in a 130-run stand with skipper Tom Latham (69 not out) which turned the match in the visitors' favour.

    Off-spinner Nathan Lyon, given a run ahead of leggie Adam Zampa, was also wicketless (0-54), suggesting the form of Cummins and Starc will be pivotal in England, particularly with Josh Hazlewood also out injured.

    Smith, who returned to the side on Monday after a year-long ban, crunched four sixes and four boundaries at No.5 in the order.

    While he appears more still at the crease than he has ever been, the orthodox - and not so orthodox - strokes were still there in abundance. This included a front-foot clip almost on one knee for six over mid-wicket off paceman Blair Tickner, and another where his bat became almost a protective blade to a short ball and resulted in a bunted two through mid-on.

    There were fewer supporters at the picturesque ground than there had been on a public-holiday Monday, but those who attended found Smith in fine form.

    He had made 22 on Monday and clearly wanted to produce something more substantial. He soon found his groove, impressing selection chairman Trevor Hohns with his boundaries and ability to manipulate the field with deft touches and singles.

    Richardson said coach Justin Langer had made mention of Smith's innings in a post-match debrief.

    "He just acknowledged it. Him and 'Maxi' and 'Us' made a 50. He just went around the room - welcome back to the boys pretty much because it's been four weeks since we have been together playing," he said.

    While Smith flourished, the same could not be said for David Warner, who returned to an opening role after being used at No.3 on Monday, when he made 39.

    Warner was dismissed for a duck this time, caught at cover driving off paceman Doug Bracewell. Understandably unhappy about this, he immediately set off to the centre-wicket net on the adjoining oval for a series of throw-downs.

    Skipper Aaron Finch and and the pugnacious Warner are seen as Australia's best opening combination - a point made clear by former selector Mark Waugh this week - and helped lead the nation to World Cup victory in 2015. But there is still support from within team management for a Finch and Usman Khawaja tandem heading into the sport's showpiece event.

    Khawaja, who opened on Monday, returned to No.3 and made 56 on Wednesday, scoring four boundaries before he was caught brilliantly at short mid-wicket by Jimmy Neesham. There has been considerable debate as to where Khawaja should bat, for he was in superb touch as an opener last month in series against India and Pakistan and is at his best when starting against fast bowling.

    Shaun Marsh, in a likely battle with Khawaja for the vacant batting spot, made 28 at No.4 while Glenn Maxwell made a statement of his own with a dashing 52 off 44 balls, adding some much-needed life through the middle overs.

    Maxwell, who was rested from Monday's clash, thumped 52 off 44 balls including two sixes and six boundaries, reinforcing why he will have a key role in England.

    Australia will leave for England on Friday night via a stop in Gallipoli. They will have two practice matches in England - against the host nation and Sri Lanka - before the tournament opener on June 1.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket...08-p51lb3.html


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  80. #80
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    Aaron Finch, the Australia captain, admitted that while their team combination is not yet fixed, they have plenty of good options to choose from and the perfect opportunity to give everyone some game time ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.

    The reigning champions might not be the favourites to win the tournament this time, but eight ODI wins on the trot have provided a major boost to their confidence. Now with the return of David Warner and Steve Smith to the side, they are scrambling to get their combinations right. In the three warm-up matches against New Zealand XI in Brisbane, Australia used three different opening pairs and made several small changes to their line-up.

    "I think it's just about giving everyone an opportunity at the top of the order to get some game time as much as anything," Finch said after the third unofficial game on Friday, 10 May. "I think it's a good opportunity to mix and match and with the three games in the UK we might keep everyone guessing a bit, but the honest answer is, no, we don't have a definitive answer on what that will look like at the moment. There are a lot of questions still to be answered but we are in a great place to do that."

    The in-form skipper was also upbeat about Warner and Smith's return to the side. While Warner wasn't able to demonstrate his recent IPL form, Smith enjoyed his comeback with scores of 22, 89* and 91* in the three games.

    "They are two of the best players in the world which is valuable to have at your disposal," the captain said. "The boys have been brilliant, all the work off the field with the team has been great. It's an interesting time, no doubt, when they are coming back in but still a great opportunity for everyone to learn off them as well. They have so much experience and what they bring to the group is really valuable."

    Finch also believes that their terrific performance in the last two months coupled with their World Cup-winning experience will be their biggest advantage going into the tournament.

    "I think it's a big advantage, just to know what it takes to win a World Cup and what it takes to manage your way through a campaign which can be difficult. You have to be at your best at the business end but you can't afford to let anything slip at the start.

    "Six guys who have been there and done that will give a lot of experience to the others of what to expect, what to feel walking out there because it is different," he further added.

    Australia's World Cup title defence will begin on 1 June in Bristol against Afghanistan.

    https://www.cricketworldcup.com/news/1213967


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