ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Smith, Warner back in Australian colours
Returned players have first hit out as the World Cup training camp goes up a notch
5 May 2019, 09:11 PM AEST
Superstar pair Steve Smith and David Warner took part in their first nets session with an Australia squad in more than 13 months on Sunday, as Justin Langer's squad continued honing their World Cup preparations in Brisbane.
Smith was on hand for the first time at the World Cup camp, having been restricted to the team hotel on Friday and Saturday owing to a virus.
Smith & Warner back on deck at Aussie training in Brisbane today pic.twitter.com/HFvqqZbBJ7— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) May 5, 2019
Warner, too, had been only a peripheral figure in Friday's session, before missing Saturday's practice with a virus also.
Both batsmen have played Indian Premier League matches in the past week and there was zero sign of cobwebs as they engaged in a lively afternoon nets session at Allan Border Field.
Displaying his habitual fidgety idiosyncrasies, Smith faced up to the spin of Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon in a pair of borrowed pads, then switched nets to face up to pace trio Mitchell Starc, Sean Abbott and Michael Neser.
Some familiar mannerisms as Steve Smith returns to the nets at Australia’s World Cup camp pic.twitter.com/zzPIJ1gCaA— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) May 5, 2019
The right-hander was at-times scratchy but there were also hints of his genius, particularly from one Abbott delivery that he dispatched through midwicket with the sort of ease that made him the world's best Test batsman prior to his suspension.
Starc's swing and pace proved a handful on occasion for the 29-year-old though, with the left-arm quick finding his rhythm – just as he had in Friday's session – in what must loom as an ominous sign for the Afghans, who Australia will face in their World Cup opener on June 1.
Warner, who has been in devastating touch in the IPL, contented himself facing throw-downs and spin, playing the ball straight regularly and with customary conviction.
Both batsmen are expected to take part in this week's three warm-up matches against New Zealand, beginning on Monday, and allrounder Glenn Maxwell said he foresaw no issue with their re-assimilation into the starting XI.
"I assume (they will play on Monday)," Maxwell said. "They have been sick the last couple of days so, hopefully, they are up and running.
"And they are both superstars. I watched both of them go about it (in IPL) and they were both absolutely brilliant over there.
"There will be no worries about them coming back into the team."
Warner left the IPL as the tournament's leading run-scorer, the opening batsman having piled on 692 runs with Sunrisers Hyderabad after missing the 2018 edition of the tournament following the ball-tampering scandal.
From 12 innings, the 32-year-old hit a remarkable eight fifties and one century.
"You look at (Warner's) stats over there (in India) and what he has done for Hyderabad, I think he has scored more than 500 runs every time he has been over there, which is amazing consistency," Maxwell said.
"Hopefully, that continues with the one-day stuff for us."
Smith too, was absent in 2018 but showed impressive touch with Rajasthan Royals this time around, hitting three half-centuries amid 319 runs to currently be in the tournament's top 20 run-scorers.
Australia's three matches against the Black Caps are at Brisbane's Allan Border Field on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and each begins at 9.30am AEST. There will be no live stream of the games but extensive highlights will be available on cricket.com.au.
2019 World Cup
Australia's squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
May 25: (warm-up) England v Australia, Southampton
May 27: (warm-up) Australia v Sri Lanka, Southampton
June 9: India v Australia, The Oval
June 12: Australia v Pakistan, Taunton
June 15: Sri Lanka v Australia, The Oval
June 20: Australia v Bangladesh, Trent Bridge
June 25: England v Australia, Lord's
July 9: Semi-Final 1, Old Trafford
July 11: Semi-Final 2, Edgbaston
July 14: Final, Lord's
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE