Australia's World Cup squad gets together for a pre-tournament camp in Brisbane this week while the Australia A tour also edges closer. An enormous number of Australians are playing in overseas competitions in the lead up to the World Cup, Australia A and Ashes tours of the UK. Here is the latest on how they are faring so far.
Who's in form and who's not
Another week brought another stack of runs for David Warner. He finished his IPL campaign with 81 from 56 balls against Kings XI Punjab last night. In 12 innings overall, he made 692 runs at 69.20, striking at 143.86, with a century and eight fifties. He made half-centuries in six of his last seven innings, including two in the last week. He is in red-hot form heading to the World Cup.
Marcus Stoinis has found some touch after getting to spend a bit of time in the middle in the last two games for Royal Challengers Bangalore. He was part of an outstanding unbeaten 121-run stand with AB de Villiers in a win over Kings XI. Stoinis took 20 off the last four balls of the innings to make 46 not out from 34. He then bowled frugally, taking 1 for 13 from two overs including the key wicket of Mayank Agarwal. He bowled well again in the loss to Delhi Capitals, conceding just 24 from three overs. He made 32 not out from 24 balls having walked to the crease with 77 runs needed from 42 balls in the chase, but Kagiso Rabada's yorkers proved mightily difficult to get away.
Steven Smith made 2 and 22 in his last two innings for Rajasthan Royals, but the 22 was important in a victorious chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad, coming off just 16 balls with three boundaries. He also took a spectacular catch running back with the flight of the ball to remove the in-form Warner in a significant moment in the match. He plays his last IPL match against Royal Challengers, and hopes to finish with a flourish.
Glenn Maxwell was starved of opportunity in his last two 50-over matches in England before heading home, mainly due to Lancashire's dominance. He bowled ten overs for 60 against Northants before the chase was reduced to 164 due to rain. He made 20 not out at No. 3 following an opening stand of 130. Against Leicestershire, he bowled five overs and took 1 for 9 and didn't get a bat as Leicestershire were all out for 80. He is being replaced in Lancashire's 50-over team by South Australian Jake Lehmann.
Jason Behrendorff has not played in the last fortnight for Mumbai Indians. Cricket Australia's medical staff will be pleased that he got enough cricket in the IPL without putting a strain on his lower back and he should be fresh for the training camp and warm-up games against New Zealand.
Chris Lynn made a blistering 54 from 29 balls in Kolkata Knight Riders' high-scoring win over Mumbai. He has not been at his absolute best in this IPL. He failed to score against the Royals in his previous game but has posted four half-centuries in his last seven innings.
The Royal London One-Day Cup continued in England this week as the County Championship remains on hold with World Cup preparations ramping up. Although 50-over white-ball form may not carry as much weight towards Ashes selection, there were some noteworthy performances for the Australian selectors to ponder.
James Pattinson showed some great signs playing three games in five days for Nottinghamshire and contributing with bat and ball. He made 33 off 25 and then took 2 for 22 from seven overs against Warwickshire. He made 13 not out from seven balls including a four and a six against Leicestershire too, before taking 1 for 46 from eight over. He bagged 2 for 42 from ten overs, with a maiden, in Notts' fifth straight win over Yorkshire.
Peter Siddle had a good week for Essex. He was the standout bowler in a heavy loss to Somerset. He took 4 for 60 in a lone hand as Somerset made 5 for 353 at Taunton. He was even better at Chelmsford on Sunday against a talent-laden Hampshire side, taking 2 for 18 from ten overs as Essex won easily.
Cameron Bancroft's stunning form for Durham stalled with scores of 20 and 3 before making 45 from 65 balls in a successful run chase against Derbyshire. He is also keeping for Durham, on top of captaining the side, and has taken six catches in the last three games.
Matt Renshaw didn't get the chance to bat last week as his only game for Kent was washed out. Marnus Labuschagne was 27 not out for Glamorgan when rain ended the match without a result. Labuschagne had been sent back to Glamorgan's 2nd XI prior to that innings to find some form, but he only made 8 against Somerset's 2nd XI. He missed out again over the weekend against Surrey, trapped lbw for 5 by Morne Morkel. But he did bowl ten overs for just 51 as Glamorgan comfortably defended 323.
Did you see?
Steven Smith's spectacular catch to get rid of Warner in their IPL meeting proved how valuable his agility in the field is ahead of the World Cup. Warner sliced a ball over cover and Smith ran back from the circle and took the chance diving at full stretch.
Ashton Turner finally broke his string of ducks in T20 cricket against Sunrisers. Again he walked out in a tough scenario but managed to survive to make 3 not out to help team-mate Sanju Samson guide the side home.
There were some concerns about Smith's injured elbow after he landed on it while completing the catch. But he was able to bat later that night without issue and there were no concerns post-match.
Performance of the week
Warner had claims to this title every week but his ninth 50-plus score of the IPL on Monday was another exceptional display. He destroyed the spin of Mujeeb Ur Rahman and R Ashwin in making his third 80-plus score of the tournament. He struck seven boundaries and a six but once again his supreme running between the wickets was a feature post the Powerplay onslaught, running 11 twos and a three.