Australia’s banned duo Steve Smith and David Warner, who both underwent elbow surgeries, are to be kept waiting to get a call-back from the national side. The duo both played in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) recently before they had to head back home due to injuries.
Smith’s participation in the World Cup remains in doubt given that a date is yet to be set for his return to the side, despite captain Tim Paine being adamant about Warner and Smith both returning to have "a huge part in us winning the series" against England in the Ashes series which will take place after the World Cup.
ESPNCricinfo reported that ‘Smith's return to international ranks from major elbow surgery may well be managed via a longer term plan than simply pushing him to recover in time for the World Cup in May.’
The former captain will not have his elbow out of a brace until the end of this month and is likely to need at least several weeks of rehabilitation before he can bat again, ruling him out of the rest of Sydney's grade competition. He is unlikely to be fit before March 29, when his ban officially comes to an end, reported The Age.
Warner was expected to resume batting in the next fortnight with a return date to playing to be determined soon after. Coach Justin Langer, who is also a selector, wants both men in his World Cup squad but is non-committal to the pair being recalled mid-series against Pakistan, particularly with question marks over their fitness after both underwent elbow surgery in January.
"We've got to keep working on how they are with their elbows, first," Langer said.
"They're going to need to get some cricket leading in before coming back into the squad. It's all part of the management. We'll have to wait and see and what happens there."
Since the coach is concerned about how much cricket the duo can play before the World Cup, it seems that the Indian Premier League (IPL) which starts late next month will play a key role in the pair’s preparations.
"We're talking about two great players, we're not talking about two really good players - two great players who, on paper, it'd be crazy to not want to have them in the team," Langer said.