Langer faces WC selection dilemma

Langer faces WC selection dilemma

Justin Langer. AFP File Photo

Australia coach Justin Langer on Monday admitted some players will be "brutally unlucky" as he faces a World Cup selection dilemma with the return of Steve Smith and David Warner.

The defending champions must name their 15-man squad this month for the tournament in England and Wales and Langer said the make-up was becoming clear on the back of the resurgent team's stunning eight-game one-day win streak against India and Pakistan.

"It's actually becoming more obvious by the day to me. The same with the other selectors," he said on the Cricket Australia website.

"We know categorically there are going to be one or two guys brutally unlucky not to get selected because they're all going so well... the blokes in the squad at the moment will be praying it's not them."

Australia made it eight in a row with a 20-run win in the fifth and final one-dayer against Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday to sweep the series 5-0 after coming from behind to beat India 3-2 last month.

Their red-hot form has been built on the back of a rock-solid opening partnership between skipper Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja. Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb and Glenn Maxwell have also been in fine touch with the bat, leaving difficult decisions as to where Warner and Smith will fit back in after serving their one-year bans for their part in a ball-tampering scandal.

Langer said having Warner banging down the door to open the batting -- a position he has occupied in all but one of his 104 ODI innings -- was a "good problem" to have.

"Aaron has had a really good partnership with David Warner as well," he said, while pointing to the current partnership between Finch and Khawaja as "blossoming at the moment".

"They (Finch and Khawaja) are both pretty chilled out and I think they work really well together. I think it's a positive thing. David has shown he's a very versatile player, Uzzie's batted three a number of times, Finchy's batted in the middle order. Versatility's important," he added.

Australia's selectors also face a bowling conundrum as they target a record sixth World Cup triumph. Pat Cummins is a certain starter but Mitchell Starc, the 2015 World Cup player of the tournament, and Josh Hazlewood, who was also integral to their successful campaign at home four years ago, have both been struggling with injury.

They missed the recent winning run and in their absence, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson all played well. "There's actually some good depth of talent now," said Langer.

"There's a number of guys who we could easily select... we've got some more confidence in the other guys," he said.