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Former Australian skipper Allan Border thinks that Australia's historic ODI series win over India could keep Steve Smith and David Warner out of contention for the World Cup. The destructive Aussie batsmen are currently serving a one year ban due to a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year. Their ban will end on the 29th of this month.
The 1987 World Cup winning captain has stated that there has been no remarkable turnaround like this before. Australia were down and out after being 0-2 down in the recently concluded ODI series against India before staging a strong comeback to win the series 3-2 and thereby, winning an ODI series in India after almost a decade.
The Aussies looked completely ordinary after losing six straight bilateral ODI series. The ball-tampering incident involving Steve Smith and David Warner added insult to injury. However, things seem to be clicking just at the right time for the five-time World Champions.
While Border believes that Smith and Warner should be back in the squad, if Australia have yet another successful outing against Pakistan in UAE then it will be better in not breaking the momentum of that squad.
However, despite tough competition, stand-in Australian captain Aaron Finch has been troubling the selectors with his lackluster performances. He did not have a great tour of India either as his bat remained silent apart from scoring 93 in Ranchi.
Just like Border, former Australian keeper Ian Healy also has a similar belief. Nonetheless, he feels that Australia will only be taking either Smith or Warner for the showpiece event in England. Prior to this series, it seemed like Usman Khawaja would miss out on his flight to England but to everyone's dismay, he put up a stellar performance in the five-match ODI series against India where he scored two half-centuries and centuries each thereby winning the Man of the Series award.
In the bowling lineup, the likes of Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson have been impressive and their confidence will be boosted by the return of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. Meanwhile, Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon will compete for supremacy in the spin department. Therefore, the bigger question which needs to be answered is have the Aussies looked beyond the dynamic duo? Will this risk reap dividends?