With the World Cup 2019 just 13 days away, the ten participating teams have started to make the last pointer preparations for the upcoming showpiece event. Majority of the teams have already announced their respective 15-member squads for the 50-overs quadrennial event scheduled to start from May 30 in England and Wales. The World Cup will see Australia defend the prestigious title, which they won by defeating the Kiwis in the finals of 2015 edition in their own backyard.
Australia’s chances of becoming a six-time World Champions have gotten a boost by the timely returns of former skipper Steve Smith and explosive opener David Warner. After their 12-month bans for ball tampering in March 2019 and recently participated in the Indian Premier League 2019.
Both Warner and Steve Smith are done with their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 stints and have also joined the rest of the national teammates for the 2019 World Cup preparations. This will be the first time when both Warner and Smith will be joining the Australian team practice seasons officially since the infamous ball-tampering incident that took place in South Africa in March 2018.
While Warner topped the run charts in the IPL with 692 runs, Smith had a lukewarm season with the bat, despite playing a couple of good innings; but despite all of this, their teammate Glenn Maxwell feels that returns of these two stalwarts have boosted chances of Australia multifold.
Glenn Maxwell himself is in a rich vein of form having smashed the Pakistani team for three 50s from four innings to average 64.50 at a strike rate of 139.46 as Australia won the series 5-0. He was also instrumental in helping Australia win the 2-match T20I series against India in their own backyard, scoring a fifty and a century in the two games and then helped Australia win the ODI series 3-2.
But with Warner and Smith returning to the fold, Maxwell is confident that the team has now got all the elements in the right order for defending its crown in the upcoming the ICC mega event. “It’s great to have their experience — experience is going to go a long way to winning defending the Cup this time again. Guys that have played in these tournaments, it’s so valuable to the side to know what to expect when you get to tournament play,” Maxwell was quoted as saying to news.com.au.
Maxwell has been handed the role of a floater in the Aussie batting lineup and he feels that he is upto the challenge of making the most of the opportunities he gets in the tournament. “The biggest challenge is to get yourself in the right headspace mentally for what you’re about to face. I think you can go through different thoughts when you start the game, whether you come out in the tenth over at 4/15 or 25th over at 1/180, it could be anything. You’ve got to be always on mentally and thinking about how you’re going to start your innings with the different roles you’re going to play,” Maxwell concluded.