World Cup offers duo chance for redemption

BRISBANE • Steve Smith and David Warner may remain disgraced in the eyes of the cricketing world but, back home, the pair have been welcomed back into the Australian team with "no tension".

The duo returned to the national fold for a World Cup training camp yesterday in Brisbane after serving year-long bans for their part in the "sandpaper-gate" scandal in Cape Town that rocked the sport.

And coach Justin Langer believes the May 30-July 14 World Cup in England and Wales offers former captain Smith and former vice-captain Warner an opportunity for redemption. He said: "They're back in the team now. They've been selected, which is brilliant."

Both have enjoyed a solid comeback in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League, with Warner in blistering form, topping the competition batting rankings with 692 runs from 12 innings. While Langer admitted some adjustments would have to be made for them, their experience would be invaluable.

He added: "When you come from the titled position of captain, then there is going to be a certain degree of humility that comes with that.

"One of our really strong values is humility, so there will be great opportunity to develop that."

Langer also welcomed the selection dilemma Smith and Warner added to the top order, joining Aaron Finch, Usman Khawja and Shaun Marsh, claiming it was "exciting to have those five 100-makers at our disposal".

Australia are the reigning World Cup champions and have been in red-hot form, winning eight one-day internationals on the trot against India and Pakistan.

But Langer, who also called on his players to "make Australians proud of us again", warned they could not to take anything for granted despite having "had great success in the past".

He added: "While we celebrate that, it means nothing on how we play this (World Cup). But I do know that we had a very humbling experience and we bought it upon ourselves."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2019, with the headline 'World Cup offers duo chance for redemption'. Print Edition | Subscribe