Six balls in five months isn’t ideal when preparations for a World Cup are underway, but Australia believes David Warner can still produce goods at the T20 World Cup.
Aussie T20 captain Aaron Finch said his opening partner David Warner is “a fighter” and will come back hard from the Indian Premier League ax when the World Cup begins.
Warner, the fourth-highest scorer in IPL history, was abandoned as captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad and left the team entirely after returning 0 and 2 in two innings when the tournament resumed last month.
He had to watch several matches from his hotel room in the United Arab Emirates, and his only training for the World Cup was with clear sessions, as he hasn’t played anywhere since the tournament was abandoned in April.
However, Finch said that Warner was “in a great mood” after connecting with the Australian team in Dubai and was fully confident he would fire if needed.
“Through the years we’ve seen him lean against the wall, he’s a warrior. I have no problem with his preparation,” Finch said.
“He came here with a great spirit, he came here with a great attitude, and it wears out kids. She organizes things behind the scenes, doing whatever she loves to do. I have no problems and he will be ready to come and go to the first game.”
The Australians will enter the tournament with mixed preparations, including Finch, who has knee surgery.
Warner was one of five Australians in the IPL, but only Glenn Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood played, and Steve Smith only officiated two games. Marcus Stoinis still manages a hamstring injury he received in the opening game.
Much of the cast also hails from the Australian winter towards the heat of the Middle East, where temperatures soar in the mid-30s throughout the day.
Australia’s three group games will be played in the afternoon when conditions are at their most oppressive.
However, Finch has denied his team’s claims of incompetence, and Australia is set to play two important warm-ups against New Zealand and India before a tournament opener against South Africa on October 23.
“We understand that conditions have been pretty grim over the past few weeks,” Finch said.
“The guys in the IPL got tougher and got used to them, the Australian guys had a really strong pre-season behind with their state team. I think it should be good. It has its challenges with the warmth but I’m sure any team will settle for it.”
Finch also revealed that he will be ready for warm-ups as he is making rapid progress in his own recovery.
“Initially, it was tap-and-go to be ready for two warm-up games,” he said.
“But at the moment it doesn’t look like there will be any issues, so I’m looking forward to getting out and starting again.”
Originally published T20 World Cup: Australian captain Aaron Finch sets David Warner on fire despite IPL undermining