Steve Smith & David Warner in Australia squad

Steve Smith & David Warner in Australia squad

The defending champions took the tough decision to drop Peter Handscomb and fast bowler Josh Hazlewood from the 15-man squad announced on Monday.David Warner now leads the run scoring charts in the IPL, holding the orange cap with 400 runs, while Smith has 186 runs to his name in 6 innings.Dropping two in-form players underlines both the reversal of Australia's recent one-day form and the depth of talent the panel had to choose from.

Alex Carey is headed to his first World Cup as wicketkeeper. But fortunately for him, the selectors named him in the Australia A squad for the England tour in July.

Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh have been included in the squad, which is a reward for their good form in the recent games. The duo is now playing in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and the Rajasthan Royals (RR) respectively.

Australia begin their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan on June 1.

As with the batsmen, Australia's selectors faced a bowling conundrum as they target a record sixth World Cup triumph.

Handscomb was seen to have a strong case for selection as he averaged more than 40 in 13 matches previous year and offers wicketkeeping coverage.

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Jhye Richardson, who dislocated his shoulder last month, makes the grade along with Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff. Australia whitewashed Pakistan by 5-0 in an ODI series in UAE held in March this year. Khawaja and Finch have averaged 89 in their recent opening stands.

The return of Smith and Warner was expected and it was always tight for Handscomb to find a place in the World Cup squad after their return.

He added that there had been some tough calls to make given the depth of talent available, but was happy to see Smith and Warner return to the worldwide fold. "Both are world class players and it has been pleasing to see them produce some good form in the IPL", Cricket Australia chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said on Monday.

Hohns said fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Jhye Richardson have been named subject to fitness.

But Hazlewood, who has been out of action since January with a back injury, missed out, with Hohns saying the focus was on having him ready for the Ashes Test series in England which begins in August.

Australia will play one two spinner, Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon, while playing two all-rounders, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis.

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