Hussey: Banned duo should walk back into World Cup squad

Former World Cup winner with Australia Michael Hussey feels that banned duo Steve Smith And David Warner should walk back into the team for the 2019 World Cup.

The bans they picked up for their involvement in the ball tampering scandal that cast a shadow over Australian cricket earlier this year will expire just before the World Cup and Hussey feels that based on the way the team plays without them they should come straight back into the XI as soon as they are available.

Hussey said on this week’s episode of The Unplayable Podcast: “It’s hard to say so far out, but the quality of player they are you probably would say they are (walk-up selections).

“As long as they do everything right in the lead up; they’re in good touch skills-wise, they’re in good fitness, no injury concerns and they’ve done all the right things preparation-wise and behavioural-wise as well, then you’d have to think they’d come straight back in because they’re such quality players.

“They’ve been quality players for such a long period of time, they’ve had success at the highest level and are important players for Australia.

“I think they probably do (return) as long as they tick all the boxes along the way.”

Hussey feels that England will start the tournament as favourites given the continuity they have enjoyed in their fifty over game over the last two years.

“It (the World Cup) is not a long time away and that’s the one thing that does concern me,” Hussey said.

“Leading into a World Cup year, you want to have continuity with your team, you want to get the guys playing together, getting the understanding, the communication out in the middle, knowing their roles very well and feeling comfortable around each other and that’s what England have been able to do.

“That’s why I think they’ll go into the World Cup as favourites because they have such a settled team and they’ve been playing together for quite a period of time now.

“Now Australia’s not going to have that luxury.

“We’re going to have some quality players coming back in but they’re not going to have much time to really build that continuity and communication between the group.”

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Hussey does not feel that Tim Paine makes Australia’s best ODI XI as a player and therefore probably shouldn’t be in the group.

“I don’t think we should be picking players just because they’re a good leader,” he said.

“We need to pick the best players and hopefully they’ve got that cultural base in place that whoever comes in, they just know exactly what’s expected of them from a behavioural point of view and what the culture of the team demands of them as well.

“We need to be looking at who’s in our best team and the best players to play in that team.

“I’m not sure in 12 months’ time Tim Paine will be there because if you think Alex Carey is a better one-day option, you’re better off getting him in there sooner rather than later, if the selectors think he’s a better one-day option.”

Hussey is not a fan of the decision to move Aaron Finch from opener to number five, so far he has notched scores of nought and twenty in his new role.

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“I must admit, I initially thought that Aaron Finch is best suited to the top of the order and he probably still is,” he said. “He can be so dynamic and destructive getting off to fast starts.

“I think about his combination with David Warner over the last few years from around that World Cup time in 2015, and when they got Australia off to a flying start then Australia won just about every single game.

“It’s probably the best spot for him. However, I have seen him bat in the middle order in T20 games at the IPL over the last couple of seasons and he does an amazing job. He really is a natural in that role.

“He comes in and seems find the middle of the bat straight away, he seems to be able to find the boundary straight away even if the field is back (and) he’s got power to be able to clear the fence.

“I’ve been really impressed with how he’s played in that middle-order role.

“A bit like Marcus Stoinis, I thought ‘No, he’s got to be the finisher for Australia’ but he’s actually done a really good job up the order.

“I think Aaron Finch, in my mind, he’s always got to be at the top of the order. But now I’m starting to soften on that a little bit as well, because I have seen him do such a great job through the middle.

“But in an ideal world you’d have him at the top.”