Australia v Pakistan - 1st Test: Day 5
Australia v Pakistan - 1st Test: Day 5

Smith, Warner to inflict World Cup revenge on Poms

Steve Smith and David Warner are primed to inflict some World Cup revenge on England when the Ashes begin in 18 days, despite not facing a red ball since the sandpaper Test 16 months ago.

The Barmy Army will ramp up the crowd abuse that has stalked Smith and Warner in England with several nasty songs already rehearsed for when they fill the Eric Hollies Stand at Edgbaston on August 1.

Smith and Warner will have just one four-day tour match, between Australia and Australia A, to adjust to red-ball cricket.

"Hopefully they get up to speed like they did with the white ball ," Langer said.

"They're both absolute professionals, they're very talented, great players. So they'll get back into that, regardless of the colour of the ball they'll be fine."

But the dislocated shoulder that kept Jhye Richardson out of the World Cup is also set to rule him out of the first Ashes Test.

It is understood that Richardson has resumed bowling off a long run-up, but he won't play in the Ashes audition that Smith and Warner will, which starts in Southampton on July 23.

Instead, Richardson is set to return for Australia A in its three-day match against Worcestershire, which is between the first and second Ashes Tests.

Shane Warne wants Richardson in the Test team, adamant he bowls a "perfect length" for English conditions.

The Herald Sun revealed last month that Langer was considering a schoolyard-style player draft to choose who plays for Australia and Australia A, with selectors set to pick the Ashes squad the next day.

That would see papers-scissors-rock decide who gets the first pick and then two 'captains' given 30 seconds to make selections, choosing 12 players each.

Langer was undecided on who would open the batting at Edgbaston.

Warner is expected to open with Marcus Harris (109), Cameron Bancroft (158) and Joe Burns (133) all staking their claims to partner him with centuries against Sussex recently.

"It's going to be some real competition," Langer said.

"That's why we want to play two Australian teams (against each other). To be able to play a game like that, and we won't select the Ashes until the day after that game, there's going to be real competition.

"There's good opportunities for guys opening and playing in the top six and the top bowlers as well."

No.3 Usman Khawaja missed the World Cup semi-final with a "mild hamstring strain" and, while he's in doubt for the Ashes audition game, Langer tipped Khawaja to play the first Test.

Ricky Ponting is expected to help selectors choose the Ashes squad.

Ricky Ponting (R) is expected to help Justin Langer and selectors pick the squad. Picture: AP
Ricky Ponting (R) is expected to help Justin Langer and selectors pick the squad. Picture: AP

Selectors could plump for either Matthew Wade or Alex Carey as a back-up keeper and batsman rolled into one, freeing up a slot for an extra fast bowler.

They will unleash Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson and Richardson against an England team set to blood Jofra Archer.

England swing bowler Jimmy Anderson (calf) is in doubt for the first Test.

"For the Ashes we've got a number of really good players who are up and running, which is good," Langer said.

"Jhye Richardson who's a very exciting talent, he'll come back into the fold at some stage. We've got lots of bowling talent in Australia, the key is to keep them fit and healthy.

"And if we do that we'll always be competitive."

Pattinson has taken 15 wickets in his past two first-class games against County Cricket teams.