Australia captain Aaron Finch confirms David Warner will be his opening partner in the T20 World Cup, starting October 17. Warner has not been in good form in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) are guaranteed to finish last in the table this season and Warner was dropped from the side after scoring 0 and 2 in his two innings in the UAE leg of the tournament, paving way for Jason Roy at the top.
He was replaced by Kane Williamson as captain of the side during the latter stages of the India leg. Overall, the Australia batsman has managed just 195 runs from eight innings at a strike-rate of 107.73 in IPL 2021 this season.
When asked if Warner would open the batting with him in the T20 World Cup, Finch said, "Yep, absolutely. He's (Warner) one of the best players to ever play to play the game for Australia. I've got no doubt that his preparation, while he would love to be playing for Hyderabad no doubt, I know that he's still training away. He'll be good to go," Finch said, according to ESPNCricinfo.
Finch goes into the tournament at the back of a knee surgery after missing out on the T20 series against Bangladesh. There were doubts over his participation in the two warm-up games against India and New Zealand ahead of the tournament, but the Australian captain is confident that he will be ready to play both games.
"Over the last couple of weeks my recovery has progressed really well so it's looking more and more likely that I'll be fit and ready to go for them," Finch said.
"And just in terms of the intensity that I've been able to train, the amount of accelerations decelerations putting load through my knee, that's all really positive. So, yeah, I've got no issues."
"I had probably my biggest session in terms of fielding, changing direction, and all that stuff with batting involved as well so that's gone as well as it could be. I had a meeting with the surgeon yesterday and he was really happy with where it's at."
Australia have lost their last five T20I series plus due to many lockdown restrictions in the country, their preparations have been limited. However, Finch says he has confidence in his players that they will turn up for the mega event. "Training indoors or training, just in the nets is no comparison obviously to game intensity so the two warm-up games and the lead-in to the World Cup is going to be really crucial," Finch said.
"We get out of quarantine, I think there are three days of practice scheduled, and then to warm-up games, so they're going to be really important to get guys up to speed as quick as possible."
"But I've got a lot of confidence in the experience of the group. We've got guys who have come off long layoffs before. We've got guys who have come off injuries before, and it's not really all that much different when you're trying to get yourself up to speed quickly. I think that that will play into their hands and might allow us to be a little bit fresher, to be honest."
'Great to see England coming down'
Finch has said it is "great to see they (England) are coming down" following reports that captain Joe Root and other players have given their consent to the Ashes tour to Australia later this year.
"I sympathise fully with them, they have been dragged from pillar to post with their schedule," Finch said.
English media reported that some of the England players have had talks with Cricket Australia officials and are satisfied with the bubble-life conditions stipulated for the players and their families.
Earlier, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a press release that players have been given time till end of this week to decide on travelling for the Ashes tour.
Australia kick start their T20 World Cup campaign against South Africa in a Group 1 clash on October 23 in Abu Dhabi, while the Ashes is set to get underway on December 8 at the Gabba.