Desperately awaiting their return to the national side, banned duo Steve Smith and David Warner met the Australian squad in Dubai ahead of the ODI series against Pakistan and the former captains felt like it was almost as if they never left.
Smith and Warner flew in to meet the coaching staff and players in Dubai, however, they will not be a part of the squad for the Pakistan series as Cricket Australia and coach Justin Langer wants the duo to play in the upcoming 12th edition of the Indian Premier League.
Smith and Warner's ban are set to expire on March 28 and the swashbucklers are excited to get back with the gang.
"It's been awesome. It's like we didn't really leave, the boys were very accepting of us coming in and with open arms," Warner told Cricket Australia.
"(There were) a lot of big hugs and cuddles. It's been great. It's good to see the spirit they're in after a great series win in India and I am obviously looking forward to watching them play against Pakistan here and hopefully they win that series as well."
Smith was ecstatic after Australia won the ODI and T20I series in India as they tasted ODI success away since January 2017. The Aaron Finch led side also became the first ever Australian side to overturn a 2-0 deficit to win a five-match ODI series.
Following the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal back in 2018, Australian cricket underwent an independent cultural review and the duo were brought up to speed with the revised landscape of the national set-up under skipper Finch and coach Langer.
"I guess it's just been going through the values that are instilled in the team at the moment and making sure we are on the right path looking forward to what's coming up; a huge World Cup and an Ashes series in England," Smith said.
"It's pretty exciting times ahead for the team and just making sure everyone's on the right path and heading in the same direction."
Warner echoed the same sentiments as the former captain with regards to understanding team values and the sizable shift which has taken place since their absence.
"Obviously being out for 12 months there's been a big change, which is great, and it's about just accepting that and playing what our role in the team should be moving forward," said Warner.
Coach Langer was happy to see the duo and said that it was like 'two brothers coming home'.
"It's great to have them back in the team," Langer said. "It's like two brothers coming home.
"They have been received really well, we had a good night together last night and had some great meetings today so it's been really positive.
"We talked about making Australians proud. We talked about great cricketers and great people, so this is just a really good opportunity with this time between the Indian series and the Pakistan series just to reset where we are at and reassess where we are at and I think it's been a really worthwhile exercise.
"As a coach when you have got two guys with as many runs and experience as they've got coming back into a team that's playing well, that's very exciting," said the Australian coach.
The duo will be heading to India for the IPL where Smith will be a part of Rajasthan Royals and Warner back in Sunrisers Hyderabad. The IPL will begin March 23 with defending champs Chennai Super Kings taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore.