Smith, Warner to Spend Time With Australian Team in UAE Before IPL

Former Australia captain Steve Smith and David Warner might not be a part of the ODI squad for the series against Pakistan, but coach Justin Langer wants both the players to spend some quality time with the squad in Dubai before they head to India to join their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) teams.

While Smith is set to play for Rajasthan Royals, Warner will ply his trade for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Also Read: Smith & Warner to Play IPL, Miss Pak ODIs: Cricket Australia

Speaking to IANS, informed sources said that the move was aimed at allowing the players to gel together keeping the World Cup in mind with the showpiece event being the first tournament Smith and Warner play for Australia in over a year.

"Justin Langer wants the duo to join the squad in Dubai so that they can mix with the boys and the process of integration is smooth. The World Cup is coming up and there should be complete bonhomie in the camp as Australia look to defend the title," he explained.

Smith and Warner were banned for 12 months following their involvement in the Sandpaper Gate controversy in South Africa, along with opening batsman Cameron Bancroft.

While elbow injuries have seen both players out of action in recent months, they are back in the nets. While Warner has even played matches, Smith is back at the training ground and recently spoke about his elbow shaping up well, even though he is yet to be 100 per cent fit.

Also Read: Constant Smith-Warner Scrutiny Could Hurt Australia at WC: Ponting

Even as Australia were busy playing the last ODI at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Wednesday, Langer said his mind was set on the showpiece event in England and that was one of the reasons why both Matthew Hayden and Mitchell Johnson have been seen working with the squad in India.

"This is how Langer likes to function. He likes to get the services of former players to share their experience with the current squad," the source revealed.

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