Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has given the nod to swashbuckling batsman David Warner ahead of in-form Usman Khawaja to open the batting for the national side along side captain Aaron Finch in the upcoming 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.
Warner is all set to make a return to the international arena after being named in the 15-member Australian squad for the mega event, which is slated to take place in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14.
The 50-over tournament will be Warner's first Australian games after serving his one-year ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal that took place in South Africa in March 2018.
With Warner all set to make Australia return, the national selectors will face a dilemma in deciding as to who should open the batting for the country alongside skipper Finch at the mega event.
Khawaja has been performing exceptionally well since being promoted to the top of the order alongside Finch at the start of March. He has notched up five half-centuries and two centuries from 10 innings he has played recently.
However, Chappell believes Warner should step straight back to the opening partnership with Finch.
"Warner should step straight back to the opening partnership with skipper Aaron Finch. Any suggestion of Warner moving down the order is illogical," cricket.com.au quoted Chappell as saying.
The legendary cricketer further stressed that Warner opening the match make the opposing bowlers and captains nervous.
"You don’t waste the psychological advantage the dynamic left-hander provides at the top of the order.As an opener, Warner makes opposing bowlers and captains nervous, and that is an advantage you don’t squander," he said.
Talking about the rest of Australia's batting line-up, Chappell said that Steve Smith--who is also making a return after serving his ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal--should bat at first drop, followed by Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis.
"Khawaja's best value is as an opener, and therefore I’d bat Marsh at four, followed by allrounders Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis," Chappell added.
"That leaves Alex Carey to handle the wicketkeeping duties, followed by four frontline bowlers," he added.
Australia will begin their title defense at the ICC World Cup with a match against Afghanistan on June 1.
The Australian squad for the tournament is as follows:
Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa