Back to business: Maxi hails return of ‘superstars’
Glenn Maxwell declared on Sunday that David Warner and Steve Smith's return was "business as usual" before both players turned on a nets session that showed they mean business.
While Warner was spared the fast bowler's net, the opening batsman's timing and Mitchell Starc's venom were the highlights of Australia's two-hour training session in Brisbane.
Smith faced up to quicks Starc, Sean Abbott and Michael Neser with his custom fidgety mannerisms and showed a mix of promising signs and scratchy shots.
Australia is likely to play 12 players in Monday's unofficial practice match against New Zealand, although there was no guarantee last night that both Smith and Warner would bat at Allan Border Field.
They were floored by a virus a few days ago and, given they have spent plenty of time in the middle recently at the Indian Premier League, might only play two out of this week's three games.
Teams will be finalised at the 9am toss but it will be a weak New Zealand, given only five members of its World Cup squad are in Brisbane.
Starc - who has missed three months with a pectoral injury - validated Langer's assessment that he was in "pristine condition".
Smith noted that Starc had the ball moving around and the left-arm quick let one rip at Shaun Marsh, which zipped up and into him.
While Smith didn't look quite as convincing as Warner, it was significant that the pair padded up in Australian kit for the first time since the ball-tampering saga in South Africa.
"I assume so (they will play on Monday)," Maxwell said.
"They have been sick the last couple of days so, hopefully, they are up and running. They are both superstars.
"We wanted to hear how they enjoyed the IPL. How Davey enjoyed his time opening with (Jonny) Bairstow - everyone has certain stories from the last month. Guys have been on holiday, we want to hear about that."
Maxwell sacrificed more than a million dollars by skipping the IPL to instead play County Cricket in England, gaining valuable experience at World Cup venues and playing alongside Ashes foe Jimmy Anderson.
"I was lucky enough to be training at Old Trafford every day with a centre wicket, so I was able to get used to conditions," Maxwell said.
"Every day I was facing Jimmy Anderson and Graham Onions, so decent net sessions as well. I was very blessed with what I had."
Maxwell took 15 wickets across two four-day and six one-day games for Lancashire, including a career-best 5/40 in the second innings of a victory at Lord's.
"I was able to get a lot of overs and find a rhythm I probably haven't had for a while," he said.
"To get some time at the bowling crease and get some real good feel out of that was nice."
Maxwell has not been home since the BBL final on February 17 and Australia's World Cup squad jets to Gallipoli for a camp before arriving in London next Wednesday.