Australia’s World Cup preparations could suffer a major setback with two key players absent from the African tour

The Australian team were the first to announce their provisional squad for the ODI World Cup, which will be held in India from October 5th. All key players were given a place and the Cricket Australia team for the ODI series against South Africa was announced. Before the African tour, the team now suffered two major setbacks with Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc.

Australia have the chance to play series against South Africa and then India to strengthen their preparations. In such a situation, the team wanted to hit the ground running with full potential. Although captain Pat Cummins was already ruled out of the series against Africa through injury, the team now suffered a double blow with the exclusion of Smith and Stark.

Steve Smith was sidelined from both the T20 and ODI series due to a wrist injury and was replaced by Ashton Turner on the T20 team, while Marnus Labuschagne was added to the ODI team. Mitchell Starc was ruled out of the ODI series against Africa due to a groin problem and fast left-arm bowler Spencer Johnson was substituted in his place.

Australia team’s head selector George Bailey said after both players dropped out of the African tour we would have to face this issue because of the workload. Smith and Stark will be fully fit ahead of the World Cup and their return can be fully expected in the three-game ODI series against India. Australia must complete a three-game T20 series on the Africa tour starting August 30. After that, the team will play a five-game ODI series against the host team starting September 7.

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