Where to now for vanquished Aussies?

Australia, beaten at the semi-final stage of the 2019 World Cup, have plenty of tough calls to make as they start plotting a path to the 2023 tournament.

AARON FINCH of Australia plays a shot during game two of the One Day International series between Australia and England at The Gabba in Brisbane, Australia.
AARON FINCH of Australia plays a shot during game two of the One Day International series between Australia and England at The Gabba in Brisbane, Australia. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images


1) What to do before the next World Cup starts in India?

Australia have to wait six months to play their next ODI but that three-match series in India will be an ideal platform to launch early plans for 2023. Openers Aaron Finch and David Warner, who both turn 33 later this year, headline the list of current squad members unlikely to be part of the next World Cup. The temptation to make wholesale changes with a view to the next tournament will be strong but the counter-argument is those experienced players could help the next generation step up in 2020 and 2021.

2) Who is going to be part of the next World Cup squad?

It's too early to speculate extensively but Ashton Turner, whose incredible knock in India earlier this year helped Australia complete a record ODI chase, looms as a certain starter if a dodgy shoulder doesn't halt his development. Peter Handscomb, renowned for being among the nation's best players of spin, should be in the mix again. Young paceman Jhye Richardson, who would have been part of the 2019 squad if not for his untimely fielding mishap in March, is another likely inclusion.

3) If not Finch, who will be captain at the next World Cup squad?

The leadership ban placed on Steve Smith as part of Cricket Australia's sanctions handed down in response to the Cape Town cheating scandal ends next year. Alex Carey, whose stocks arguably increased at the current tournament more than any other teammate, is the current vice-captain and his leadership skills are highly rated.

4) Should Australia have acted differently after Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis' recent injury setbacks?

It's easy to argue yes given the semi-final shellacking but there was no obvious decision to make in all three instances. Matthew Wade and Mitch Marsh could easily have played at Edgbaston but it's hard to imagine their addition would have changed the result against England's in-form attack and potent top order.

5) Was leaving Josh Hazlewood out of this squad a mistake?

There were questions over the paceman's fitness after a serious back injury but the right-armer, the world's top-ranked ODI bowler in 2017, would have been very handy in the final stages of the tournament.

6) What to do about the Ashes?

It'll be interesting to see how selectors assess the importance of form in the one-day tournament while picking the Ashes squad. Carey has clearly enhanced his case to be included but Wade's case to be the reserve keeper is also strong. Khawaja's hamstring complicates the selection squeeze created by the imminent Test returns of Smith and Warner.