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Marsh still in the mix, Langer mulls squad

Australia coach Justin Langer is no closer to knowing who will make the cut in a 15-man World Cup squad but now it's because of depth rather than a lack of it.

Marsh still in the mix, Langer mulls squad

Australia coach Justin Langer is no closer to knowing who will make the cut in a 15-man World Cup squad but now it's because of depth rather than a lack of it.

Warriors coach JUSTIN LANGER hits balls for catching practice at the change of innings during the Sheffield Shield match between the Western Australia Warriors and the South Australia Redbacks at WACA Perth, Australia.
Warriors coach JUSTIN LANGER hits balls for catching practice at the change of innings during the Sheffield Shield match between the Western Australia Warriors and the South Australia Redbacks at WACA Perth, Australia. Picture:Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

Justin Langer is still losing sleep as he attempts to whittle Australia's World Cup squad down to 15 players.

Australia's 3-2 ODI series victory over India has made coach Langer and chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns' job all the more difficult as they consider who should make way for Steve Smith and David Warner.


Uncertainty also clouds the identity of the bowlers who will be entrusted with the nation's World Cup defence.

Mitchell Starc (pec) and Josh Hazlewood (back) are recovering from injuries, with the latter now unlikely to be passed fit in time for the tournament, while selectors are mulling whether to include both Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon in the squad.

"I sat down in my bed last night and I tried to go through my journal, (write down) possible World Cup sides, Australia A sides and Ashes sides," Langer said prior to the squad's flight from Delhi to Dubai.

"I did that at about 11.30pm. I woke up at about 3.30am and my mind was still ticking. It's really hard.

"There will be 19 or 20 guys who deserve to be in the World Cup squad ... we've got a few selection headaches.

"That's a great problem to have. That's been the cornerstone of Australian cricket for a long time, intense competition."

Australia start another five-match series, against Pakistan in the UAE, on March 22 that will serve as the final selection trial for the World Cup.

Shaun Marsh was dropped for the series decider in Delhi, having started the tour as Australia's form batsman, but the veteran will be back in the XI soon.

"Definitely. He's too good a player not to. He's been our most successful ODI player in the last 12 months, probably longer," Langer said.

"It was tough that he'd come back in off the back of a hamstring injury ... he missed out a few times but he's a gun player, a really important part of the team."

Zampa, Marcus Stoinis, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja and Alex Carey are among the players to have seemingly secured their spots.

Khawaja and Peter Handscomb both posted maiden ODI centuries during productive tours of India, while Ashton Turner's unbeaten 84 in a record chase of 359 was proof of his potential.

Aaron Finch will be keen for another big score against Pakistan, having passed 50 once on the tour of India, but his captaincy is highly rated by both Langer and Hohns.

Langer praised the incumbent 15-man squad, which became the first Australian outfit to battle back from 2-0 down to win a five-match ODI series, for not thinking about World Cup selection.

"It's been one of our philosophies," he said.

"It's a real danger time ... if you put the emphasis on yourself, you tend to put too much pressure on and you don't go well. We don't go well."

AAP


AAP




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