The poor showing by Australia in the ODI series against England shows how much they need the banned Steve Smith and David Warner, says Ian Chappell.
They are by far the two best batsmen in the country and they will walk back into the side for the World Cup next year, says the former captain and commentator.
‘I thought the series was going to be tough for the Australians, but I didn’t see it as bad as it has been,’ he said in an interview with ESPNCricinfo. ‘I expected that the bowling would struggle because you lost your three frontline bowlers [Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins], but the batting hasn’t held up its end of the bargain either.
‘I’ll be very surprised if Smith and Warner don’t walk straight back into the Australian side. They’re far away the two best batsmen. It doesn’t matter what version of the game you’re playing, they’re the two best players.’
The former captain and vice-captain were banned for 12 months for their part in the ball-tampering scandal on the South African tour in March. They will nevertheless be playing domestic T20 series.
‘What’s pretty concerning for Australia is their problem with their spin bowling,’ added Chappell. ‘They get away to some good starts but the opposition always seems to pull things back by using spin bowlers in the middle overs.’
Australia have lost four out of four on the tour and will be hoping to pull one back in the final match today.
‘In the World Cup, the problem will be relieved a little bit with Smith and Warner back. Smith, in particular, is a very good player of spin bowling. So that will give them a bit more strength in the middle order but once you show this weakness, the opposition sides are going to play on it and there are a lot of good spin bowlers at the moment.’
Australia need to regain confidence, says Chappell.
‘The problem is, this close to the World Cup, you want to have your side pretty well settled. Well, the Australians are far from settled and that will be a major concern.’