JL: Only ‘one or two’ Aussie World Cup spots are up for grabs

Australia’s selectors are already well advanced in Twenty20 World Cup planning, with Justin Langer insisting the potential absence of the Indian Premier League won’t affect their push for a breakthrough win.

The IPL has already been delayed until April 15 and cancellation or further postponement seemingly inevitable given India is in lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pat Cummins, sold for a record $A3.1 million during last year’s IPL auction, headlines the list of Australians set to miss out on a lucrative Twenty20 stint. But money is only part of the equation.

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Langer: Layoff like nirvana

Cricket: Australia coach Justin Langer is focusing on the players and staff mental health as forced lay-off provides much-needed rest

Players on the fringe of Australia’s T20 World Cup squad, such as Josh Hazlewood, hoped to use the tournament to boost their case for selection.

Josh Philippe, who caught the attention of national selectors during a superb BBL campaign, was understandably excited about the prospect of learning from Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers at Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“Before this crisis started to unravel, we were absolutely determined for our guys to play the IPL,” Langer told reporters.

“Because with the T20 World Cup coming up, there’s no better grounding, no better practice, no better tournament for them to get ready for that.

“But obviously things have changed a lot. The health of not only our individual players, but also our country and India as a whole is paramount here.

“In terms of selection, I’m not too stressed about it … one or two positions in our World Cup side are up for grabs. It’s a very, very settled team. We played great cricket against South Africa.”

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Aussies looking to ODI WC

Cricket: Australia’s T20 World Champion Cricket team now move their attention to the ODI World Cup.

Australia’s T20 World Cup campaign is due to start on October 24 in Sydney and it is the one major tournament that Australia’s men’s side are yet to win. Uncertainty created by the coronavirus means it is unclear how many games Australia will play leading up to that T20 event.

“There’s no better practice than match practice and I’m sure that we will, when the time’s right, (have that),” Langer said.

“We either manufacture it (in intra-squad games) or we’ll have plenty of that if this crisis slows down quicker than we think.”

Australia’s Test tour of Bangladesh in June is one of many series in doubt because of the health crisis.

“We were very close to having a handle on who we thought would be best to be selected for the Bangladesh tour,” Langer said.

“We will put that on hold for a bit.

“But we’ve been planning for Bangladesh for some time and if it does go ahead then we’ll be ready.”

Originally published asJL: Only ‘one or two’ Aussie World Cup spots are up for grabs

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