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Aussie ODI players won't be left in Shield

Australia will pick their best one-day squads against India and Pakistan, opting against letting players stay in the Sheffield Shield and prepare for the Ashes.

Aussie ODI players won't be left in Shield

Australia will pick their best one-day squads against India and Pakistan, opting against letting players stay in the Sheffield Shield and prepare for the Ashes.

USMAN KHAWAJA of Australia celebrates after reaching his century during the Fifth Test match in the 2017/18 Ashes Series between Australia and England at SCG in Sydney, Australia.
USMAN KHAWAJA of Australia celebrates after reaching his century during the Fifth Test match in the 2017/18 Ashes Series between Australia and England at SCG in Sydney, Australia. Picture:Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Australia won't pull players from ODI tours of India and the UAE, with coach Justin Langer resisting the urge to let some batsmen stay in the Sheffield Shield and boost their Ashes cause.

The Aussies face a difficult schedule over the next two months, with both the Ashes and World Cup a priority in 2019 and the ODIs against India and Pakistan clashing with the final rounds of the domestic four-day competition where Dukes balls - same as the Ashes - will be used.


Australia are confident they are close to finalising their one-day squad for the World Cup and a similar side to the one that faced India last month will be announced when the touring teams are named later this week.

It means Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb and Glenn Maxwell may not play any more red-ball cricket until Australia's Ashes squad is picked, with the exception of a few County games in the second half of April for the latter three.

Marsh, Handscomb and Maxwell would be desperate to push their Test causes while there were suggestions before Khawaja's century in Canberra that he should be given time in the Shield to re-find his best.

Making the situation trickier is that at least two of the batsmen in India will be replaced for the World Cup, with Steve Smith and David Warner's returns from their 12-month bans imminent.

Regardless, Langer said the option of keeping players back to play red-ball cricket wouldn't be considered.

"We want to get as close to the World Cup squad as we can over the next 12 games, including the two T20s (against India). So you can't really afford to do that," he said.

"We've got to keep our eyes very clearly on what's best for the team, not what's best for individuals.

"It'd be good for some individuals to do that (stay behind) but we've also got to win the World Cup."

Australia have won just four of their past 24 completed ODIs and must turn around their form, in the two series against India and Pakistan, if they are to defend their crown.

Langer has pencilled Warner and Smith in as near-certainties for their ODI title defence, with the duo potentially returning from their suspensions against Pakistan if games are scheduled after March 29 and they have recovered from elbow surgeries.

"If they're playing well (they'll be picked in the World Cup)," Langer said.

"We're talking about two great players, we're not talking about two really good players.

"Two great players ... who we'd be crazy not to have them in the team."

AAP


AAP




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