Justin Langer, the Australia coach, said that the returning pair of Steve Smith and David Warner needs to be humble as the ICC Men's Cricket World 2019 will offer them a chance at redemption.
Smith and Warner were handed a 12-month ban for their role in the ball-tampering incident last year in South Africa. The duo are now back with the national side for a training camp in Brisbane ahead of the premier tournament.
Langer, who spoke to the reporters at Allan Border Field on Friday, 3 May, believes that the incident was a very "humbling experience" for the team but they now need to concentrate on the upcoming World Cup.
"We saw some sad vision 12 months ago to some really positive vision to where we are now," he said. "We have had great success in the past. While we celebrate that, it means nothing on how we play this [World Cup]. But I do know that we had a very humbling experience. And we bought it upon ourselves. We must make the most of every opportunity that comes up, including this World Cup"
He also added that Smith and Warner's return to the side bodes well for the reigning champions and that the team will benefit from their leadership experience. Both batsmen have been in terrific form of late, having come back from a successful Indian Premier League campaign. While Warner has been the leading run-getter in the tournament with 692 runs in 12 games for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Smith, who briefly handled the captaincy for Rajasthan Royals, rose back to form with gritty performances.
"There is no tension," said a smiling Langer. "They're back in the team now. There’s been a big build up to it. It’s been a bit like facing fast bowling, you worry about it until you get out there and it’s not as bad you thought it was. It was probably worse the night before [in your head]. It’s the same with the boys coming back in."
There are certainly going to be challenges for both of them, though. When you’ve come from a titled position of captain, there’s going to be a certain degree of humility that comes with that.
"They've been selected, which is brilliant. We’ll draw on their experience on and off the field and we would be absolutely crazy not to."
Smith and Warner held leadership roles – captain and vice-captain respectively – the last time they played for Australia, and part of their challenge in reintegration revolves around how well they're able adjust in the team environment without the positions.
"There are certainly going to be challenges for both of them, though. When you’ve come from a titled position of captain, there’s going to be a certain degree of humility that comes with that. But one of our really strong values is humility so it will be a great opportunity for them to develop that."
Australia will face Afghanistan on 1 June in Bristol in their opening World Cup game.
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