Fitting the disgraced duo of Steve Smith and David Warner into Australia’s World Cup squad will be “bloody hard” given the side’s resurgence without them, according to captain Aaron Finch.
Both Smith and Warner are eligible to return to the national side after their 12-month suspensions for ball-tampering ended on Thursday.
Australia beat Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in their five-match ODI series, and have now won six matches in succession after coming back to defeat India 3-2 away.
Finch said it would be tough for selectors to decide who to leave out of the 15-man squad for the May 30-July 14 World Cup in England.
“It is bloody hard,” he said.
“Especially when the side is playing so well, it’s going to be difficult. No matter who it is.
“At the end of the day ... it’s an incredibly tough decision. Whatever balance you go with in that 15-man squad, there’s going to be some very unlucky blokes out there.”
One could be Usman Khawaja, formerly a fringe member of the one-day side, who has flourished opening the batting with Finch since his recall in January, with 609 runs at an average of 55.36.
The left-hander could make way for Warner, who has scored more than 4,300 one-day runs and 14 centuries, in an explosive opening combination with Finch.
Smith, who has only just returned from elbow surgery, would complement a middle order of Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb, with all-rounders Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell providing power-hitting through the lower-middle order.
Having struggled for a period without Smith and Warner, Finch’s side have shown the kind of form that propelled them to a fifth World Cup title four years ago on home soil.
Finch said consistency of selection had aided their turnaround.
“The fact that guys are getting more of an opportunity to keep developing their role, and developing the role they’ve been asked to play or the game demands, is gold,” he said.
“That probably goes under the radar a little bit when you’re looking at teams that have been successful in the past.
“I think leading up to the 2015 World Cup, we’d had the same 15 players for a good 18 months or so.
“That goes a long way, not just to your culture but just an understanding of how each other plays.”
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Head coach Matthew Mott said Vlaeminck, who did not bowl on Thursday, would be the lone player unavailable for next week's ODIs in Mackay and the ensuing Test in Gold Coast.
The experts stressed on the need to strike a balance between bio-security bubbles and the avoidance of "excessive" mental health costs to the players.
India and Australia are set to lock horns in a multi-format series comprising three ODIs, the day-night Test, and three T20s, starting on 21 September. The Test will be played from 30 September to 3 October in Canberra.