Shane Warne believes Australia can lift the World Cup come July 17 and backs the currently suspended duo of Steve Smith and David Warner to make a triumphant return to the Australian side. Shane Warne has put forward his starting XI for Australia before the big event with an interesting idea of playing D’Arcy Short alongside David Warner as the opening pair, shifting Aaron Finch to third and subsequently moving the likes of Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell down the order.
This will make Alex Carey play down at number eight ahead of the pace attack of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Jhye Richardson. Shane Warne wrote in his column for the Herald Sun, “I really do believe Australia can win the World Cup. I think it’s a fantastic one-day side. The talent is there, and if they can gel quickly, I think they’ll play really well.” Warne seemed pretty confident of the returning pair of Warner and Smith and went as far as suggesting, “Warner could be the player of the World Cup. They will want to make a statement, they will want to make amends, but also to prove to everyone just how good they are, they’ll be so driven.”
The former legspinner also added the caution about Smith’s selection who is currently lacking fitness saying, “I’d really like to find a spot in the team for Ashton Turner, but he’s a very handy reserve. He comes in if Smith’s elbow doesn’t recover. Smith has to be able to field too. If he can’t throw, he doesn’t go. I’m also happy to include Peter Handscomb to keep his spot in the squad. I like what he’s done in the team recently.”
Warne’s Australia World Cup XI: David Warner, D’Arcy Short, Aaron Finch (c), Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson
Extras (one to miss out in the 15-man squad): Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa, Peter Handscomb, Josh Phillipe, Riley Meredith.
Aussies recently appointed Ricky Ponting as their assistant coach to help them in preparations for the World Cup. The notion of such a starting XI looks pretty good on paper but can it deliver the goods if Australia goes through with the same before kick-starting their campaign on June 1 against Afghanistan.