Finch hopeful Smith, Warner will restore their 'world class' credentials

back icon
safari
01 Jun 2019 | 08:39 AM
authorAFP

Finch hopeful Smith, Warner will restore their 'world class' credentials

Both players are back in the Australia squad for the World Cup and are set to start their country’s first match of the tournament against Afghanistan in Bristol on Saturday.

heart

Share

Australia captain Aaron Finch says disgraced stars Steven Smith and David Warner will use the World Cup to restore their “world-class” credentials after their role in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. Smith and Warner served 12-month bans following the “sandpaper-gate” incident in the Cape Town Test in March last year and Smith lost the Australia captaincy as a result. 

Both players are back in the Australia squad for the World Cup in England and Wales and are set to start their country’s first match of the tournament against Afghanistan in Bristol on Saturday. 

Finch said the tournament was the ideal stage to show their competitive qualities had not been dimmed by the scandal. “I think when you are a world-class player, you adapt again really quickly and you get up to speed,” he said. 

“Having them play, I think, 13 games each in the IPL (Indian Premier League -- they actually played 12 each) was really important. 

“That’s a higher standard of cricket and it just gets you back up to as close to international competition as you can.” 

Finch said Smith would be one of the “all-time greats” by the time he retired. “There was never any issue about how he would bounce back, and the same with David,” he said. 

“They are both so competitive, they have got great records. There was never any doubt how well they would come back.” 

The pair were given a hostile reception by some members of the crowd at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton during Australia’s World Cup warm-up victory over England last week in which Smith scored a century and Warner hit 43. Warner is fit to face Afghanistan after recovering from a sore muscle. 

“David is fine. He will play tomorrow, no doubt about that,” said Finch. “We are very close to a starting XI but we are not going to name it yet. Everyone is in contention.” 

Australia are the reigning world champions, having won four of the past five editions of the tournament, and are expected to open their campaign with a comfortable victory against minnows Afghanistan. 

But Finch is taking nothing for granted, with Afghanistan having served notice of their ability by beating Pakistan in a warm-up match. 

“They are a dangerous side. If you take your foot off the gas for a while they will hurt you, and you still have to play at your absolute best to beat them,” he said. 

“Winning their warm-up game against Pakistan, they played brilliantly. They have got a huge following, with support all over the world now, which is huge for cricket.”

heart
shareGray Share
Tags

Related Articles

safari
NEWS
Warner, Smith braced for 'very hostile' South Africa crowds after ball-tampering scandal
Australia are touring South Africa for three T20Is and three ODIs which begins on February 21
userAFP
14 Feb 2020
safari
ANALYSIS
Under-par Australia overachieve with fab four
Australia lost a World Cup semifinal for the first time in its history
userShubh Aggarwal
12 Jul 2019
safari
NEWS
Finch proud of Australia despite semi-final thrashing
For just the second time in the last seven World Cups, Australia have failed to reach the final
userAFP
11 Jul 2019
safari
NEWS
My wife driving force behind my Australia return: Warner
The opener made 107, his first hundred in Australia colours since an Ashes century against England during the 2017 Boxing Day Test
userAFP
13 Jun 2019
safari
NEWS
Having Smith, Warner back a huge boost for Australia: Finch
Steven Smith and David Warner played their first official international matches at the World Cup in England and Wales after serving year-long ball-tampering bans.
userAFP
09 Jun 2019
safari
NEWS
Finch feels Australia in good position as compared to 10 months ago
Australia could not have asked for a better preparation going into the World Cup as they won both their warm-up games against England and Sri Lanka.
userPTI
28 May 2019
safari
NEWS
Things put in place to protect Smith, Warner during World Cup, says Finch
Steven Smith and fellow star batsman David Warner only returned to international duty earlier this month.
userAFP
24 May 2019
safari
NEWS
Smith cracks fifty, Khawaja suffers injury scare during warm-up match
Usman Khawaja lasted just two overs before he was struck on the jaw by an Andre Russell bouncer
userAFP
23 May 2019
safari
NEWS
Finch tips fired-up Warner to dominate World Cup
Finch said the ban, imposed after Warner masterminded the "Sandpaper-gate" scandal in Cape Town last year, had given the 32-year-old a chance to refresh his game
userAFP
02 May 2019
safari
NEWS
Warner predicts high-scoring World Cup
Aussie looks to use IPL form to boost him ahead of quadrennial event
userAFP
30 Apr 2019
logo
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
FacebookTwitterLinkedin
@ 2020 cricket.com | All rights reserved