Finch to open with Warner in the T20 World Cup

Australian captain says the team can go all the way in the mega event

Australia’s white-ball captain Aaron Finch has indicated that he will open the batting with an off-colour David Warner at the T20 World Cup, which starts in UAE and Oman from October 17.

Injuries and form have been a worry for Australia in the build-up to the World Cup. Warner has 195 runs at 24 and a strike rate of 108 this IPL season and was dropped by the struggling Sunrisers Hyderabad after a poor run in the UAE-leg of IPL.

Meanwhile, Finch played with an injury in the West Indies and missed the entire Bangladesh series. The Victorian has since undergone knee surgery and is feeling “very good”. He is likely to stick to the left-right opening combination.

“I think you would expect to see Davey [David Warner] and I open the batting in the World Cup. It is something that has worked for us for a long time now,” he told Sportstar.

Among other Australians in the IPL, Glenn Maxwell has reeled off three half-centuries in a row for Royal Challengers Bangalore while Steve Smith has struggled for game time with Delhi Capitals. Smith’s record in T20Is is mixed — 794 runs in 45 matches at an average of 27.37 and a strike rate of 129.52. But Finch has reiterated his confidence in Smith while adding that there will probably be a few floaters in the batting order.

“Smith is the best batsman in the world. I have no doubt he is the best possible option to fulfil the anchor role,” he said.

“Guys like Stoinis and [Matthew] Wade are high-quality cricketers who can fill any role in the Australian order. All our players are adaptable enough to bat in the middle order, and I think you will see whoever is called upon in the World T20 will do a terrific job.”

Bad run

The Australian men’s side hasn’t made a T20 World Cup semifinal since 2012. It was No.1 in the ICC T20I rankings in May 2020 for the first time in history. Since then, it has lost five consecutive T20I series. Against Bangladesh in August this year, Australia’s batting hit rock bottom when it was bowled out for 62 in the fifth match, its lowest ever in the format.

“I don’t think people should read too much into the playing against spin in West Indies and Bangladesh,” Finch said. “I think we have picked a team that can win the World Cup. We have the utmost faith in every single player picked. No doubt, they will be able to help us win.”

About the side’s bowling composition, Finch said: “The bowlers we have picked are world-class, so I am looking forward to seeing what they do on the big stage.”

The players departing for the World Cup from Australia will leave for the UAE later this week.

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