Former Australian coach Darren Lehmann is confident that Steve Smith and David Warner will shine for Australia in the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales. Both Smith and Warner have returned to the squad after being banned for a year for their role in the sandpaper gate scandal.
Smith and Warner successfully returned to the international set-up after their performances in the Indian Premier League, which has only boosted the Australian side. Warner looked in a different zone for SRH in the IPL, where he finished as the highest run-scorer while Smith had his share of success for Rajasthan Royals. Going into the World Cup, Australia, who are the defending champions, have peaked just before the mega event, beating India and Pakistan in two consecutive series. Lehmann expects Steve Smith and David Warner to have an outstanding season at the World Cup.
"Smith at number three or four, he'd be exceptional at the World Cup. People are worried about the break they've had with 12 months out, but you see them in the IPL performing and making runs,” Lehmann told Macquarie Sports Radio.
Warner did well in their last World Cup and must have only got better with time. Lehmann feels that Aaron Finch and Warner at the top will be a threat if they get going. In the duo’s absence, players like Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh have done extremely well to cement their spot in the line-up.
"David Warner is an excitement machine, at the top of the order, he can set it alight. If he has a really good tournament, he set us on the road to winning a lot of games in the last World Cup. If he does it again at the top of the order with Aaron Finch, they'll be hard to stop. Opening with Finch and Warner, I think that's a certainty. And then there's Khawaja or Shaun Marsh at three I'd think and Smith at four - this is your top four."
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