• Langer plotting Smith, Warner reintegration

    Coach Justin Langer has reiterated the importance of timing the return of batsmen David Warner and Steven Smith to the Australian team.

    Warner and Smith were banned for ball-tampering during last year’s Test series against South Africa. Those suspensions will end prior to Australia’s World Cup and Ashes campaigns in the United Kingdom later this year.

    Both are currently sidelined by elbow injuries sustained during the recent Bangladesh Premier League, though. Their suspensions prevent participation in T20I, ODI or Test cricket, but do not extend to domestic T20 cricket around the world.

    ‘We’ve got to keep working on how they are with their elbows, first. They’re going to need to get some cricket before coming back into the squad. It’s all part of the management. We’ll have to wait and see,’ said Langer.

    ‘Reintegration has been going on for some time now. We know it’s been a tough time for them, it’s been a tough time for Australian cricket, but we know the word integration has been going for the last nine or ten months, or eleven, it’s getting closer, isn’t it.

    ‘We’re talking about two great players, we’re not talking about two really good players. Two great players, who on paper we’d be crazy not to have them in the team. It’s about how much cricket they get to play between now and then. They’ll find opportunities. We’ll find opportunities, but I can’t say anything else.

    ‘It’s a tough schedule as we all know, but we’ve got a World Cup coming up as well. We want to get as close to the World Cup squad as we can over the next 12 games against India and Pakistan. We’ve got to keep our eyes very clearly on what’s best for the team, not what’s best for individuals. That doesn’t work. It’d be hard to do that. It’d be good for some individuals to do that, but we’ve also got to win the World Cup. That’s just the schedule we deal with.

    ‘It’s unprecedented that you have a World Cup and an Ashes straight after. We’re lucky that we’ve got really good depth of talent in Australian cricket, so we’ll manage it as best we can.’

    Photo: Getty

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