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Justin Langer

'Spots still up for grabs' – Langer offers hope for World Cup aspirants

Justin Langer, the Australia coach, has said the squad that will travel to India for the limited-overs series is not the one that will represent the country at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019, and that there is still a chance for aspirants to stake their claim for a spot.

Australia on Thursday, 7 February, named their squad that will play two Twenty20 Internationals and, more significantly in terms of World Cup preparation, five one-day internationals in India. It included several changes from the side that lost the ODI series at home to India.

Langer, however, offered some solace to the ones that missed out, while also keeping the players picked on their toes. He pointed out that there was still the five-match series against Pakistan to come before the World Cup squad was decided.

"Whether you are on this tour or not, there is still going to be spots up for grabs," Langer was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. "But the World Cup is going to come up sooner than you know and guys like Steve Smith and Dave Warner are obviously going to bang very hard on the door.

"So there is going to be some competition there, but that’s good as there is going to be some guys that need to stay on their toes the entire time and keep playing great cricket every time we play."

Australia are No.6 on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings. So, this will be the rare World Cup when the five-time champions aren't the favourites. Langer isn't too concerned by that, however.

"We know there are a lot of good players and there are only 15 spots for the World Cup," he said. "If you pick the best team for each game, the future usually looks after itself."

Australia begin their CWC19 campaign against Afghanistan on 1 June, in Bristol.

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Afghanistan fans celebrate a boundary during the 2019 Cricket World Cup warm up match between England and Afghanistan at The Oval in London on May 27, 2019.

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