The big news from the world of cricket today is that Steve Smith and David Warner have been included in Australia’s World Cup squad. A reminder that it all kicks off on May 30 when England play South Africa.

Steve Smith and David Warner an obvious inclusion

The fact that David Warner and Steve Smith were going to be included in the squad was perhaps cricket’s worst-kept secret. They have been Australia’s two stand-out batsmen for the past five years or so in ODI cricket and their experience, ability to build innings in all conditions and sheer weight of runs made it an easy choice now that their suspension for their roles in the Sandpapergate affair are over.

They’ve since had stints in the Caribbean Premier League and are currently in action in the IPL– where Steve Smith and David Warner play for the Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively.

They were captain and vice-captain respectively before their suspensions but for the time being neither can have a leadership role for Australia. They may never have one again but that’s a discussion for another day. It means that Aaron Finch carries on a skipper.

The third member of the suspended trio- Cameron Bancroft– wasn’t selected but that should come as no surprise. He’s never played an ODI before anyway.

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What does their inclusion mean?

Peter Handscomb must be feeling sick. The man with the famously awkward batting technique has done a pretty good job over the past four month or so, scoring his maiden century against India in India and also contributing with knocks of 47, 48 and 52 in ODIs since the start of March.

It will be interesting to see who else is ‘sacrificed’ given that Steve Smith and David Warner will surely play now that they’re in the squad. The smart money is on Warner opening alongside skipper Finch, with Usman Khawaja dropping down from opener to number three and Smith coming in at four. Then it’s Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell at five and six depending on the situation and then Wicket-keeper Alex Carey at seven. That scenario would mean Shaun Marsh misses out but it’s also possible that he keeps his place at three with Khawaja missing out.

Smith and Warner boost Australia’s World Cup chances

Assuming their return doesn’t damage the morale in the camp, it’s stating the obvious to say that the return of two of the finest ODI batsmen in the world game doesn’t increase Australia’s chances of winning the Cricket World Cup.

The news of Smith and Warner’s return has seen Australia shortened to 4/1 from 9/2 but they’re still a very solid bet at that price. I’ve explained why they were an extremely dangerous team with a great chance here.

With Smith most likely batting at four, that’s too low for him to have a realistic chance of being the top tournament runscorer but Warner certainly has every chance. The 14/1 with Betfair Sportsbook many not be around for very long so you might want to grab it now.

 

Betfair Sportsbook is Betting Maestro’s recommended Sportsbook for Cricket World Cup Betting. You can back David Warner  at 14/1 to be the tournament top runscorer with Betfair Sportsbook and get a nice welcome bonus. 

New customer offer. Place 5 x £/€10 or more bets to receive £/€20 in free bets.
Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £/€100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange
bets excluded. T&Cs apply.

 

In other news, the announcement of Australia’s World Cup squad has seen Josh Hazlewood left out which is a bit of a surprise. It means that Jason Behrendoff or Nathan Coulter-Nile will probably join the shoo-ins that are Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc as the fast bowlers with Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon competing for the spinners’ spot.

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