Steven Smith and David Warner
Steven Smith (L) and David Warner (AFP Photo)

Allan Border and Ian Healy reckon that following Australia’s historic ODI series win against India on Wednesday, the pair of Steven Smith and David Warner should expect a difficult path towards breaking into the playing XI again.

Without a series win since 2017, Australia stunned world no. 2 India in a five-match series, coming back from 0-2 down to win 3-2 in Delhi. This was the first time they had beaten India in India since 2009. (READ: Australian tail wags, Indian middle order sags)

Australia next travel to UAE for a five-match ODI series where they face Pakistan and Border feels if the defending World Champions continue their form, it will be difficult for them to disturb the winning combination in order to accommodate Smith and Warner.

“Given the success of the side at the moment, if they continue to play good cricket against Pakistan with the squad they have at the moment, you’d probably be tempted to keep that lot as is,” Border told foxsports.com.au.

He added, “I think they (Smith and Warner) come back into the squad, but whether they play or not is not a done deal. They need to be playing better than the incumbents to be automatic selections.”

While Warner bats as an opener, Smith is a middle-order batsman.

Healy said the performances of Usman Khawaja [opener], Peter Handscomb [middle-order] and Ashton Turner [lower middle order] makes it a tricky proposition to displace them.

“Handscomb’s doing that job in the middle order, Ashton Turner has already pushed out Shaun Marsh, so there’s not a whole lot of room, is there? And Khawaja is doing a magnificent job in the place of Warner, so they’re not definitely coming back into the XI,” Healy said.