Australia coach Justin Langer said that Steve Smith and David Warner will be rushed into the team as soon as their bans get over. While the duo will be available for selection on March 29, both are recuperating from respective elbow injuries and surgeries, with Smith’s being more complicated than that of Warner’s.
“We’ve got to keep working on how they are with their elbows first,” Langer is quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. “They’re going to need to get some cricket leading into hopefully coming back into the squad. It’s all part of the management. We’ll have to wait and see what happens there.”
Smith is still in an elbow brace for the next three weeks. He will begin an extensive period of rehabilitation later in February during which there will be more clarity as to if he would be able to return in time for the World Cup.
Their availability after the ban could coincide with the latter stages of Australia’s ODI series against Pakistan, the schedule for which is yet to be made public. If either don’t get to play in the series, they will be looking to get match time in the upcoming 10th edition of the Indian Premier League.
Langer said that while they are great players who would be a shoo-in for the World Cup squad, he would like Warner and Smith to have enough match time before the big tournament. “(It’s about) how much cricket they get to play between now and then, but I’m sure we’ll find opportunities,” he said. “They’ll find opportunities … but I can’t see anything else (stopping them).
“We’re talking about two great players. We’re not talking about two really good players, they’re two great players who, on paper, we’d be crazy not to have them in the team (for the World Cup).
“We know it’s been a tough time for them, it’s been a tough time for Australian cricket. And the… integration has been going for the last nine or ten months, or eleven, it’s getting closer isn’t it. And that’ll be a continued process.”