Kolkata: Australia - for all their rich harvest in the history of 50-overs ICC World Cup - has failed to end their drought in the T20 World Cup in its six editions so far. A somewhat dispointed preparation due to the COVID-19 restrictions in their country, abysmal form of their run machine David Warner may not really qualify them as one of the frontrunners for the title in the upcoming showpiece in the UAE, but their white ball skipper Aaron Finch is upbeat about his opening partner returning to form.
The 34-year-old skipper, an explosive opener who is coming out of a knee injury himself, said that Warner, who was dropped from Sunrisers Hyderabad playing team during the fag end of the Indian Premier League in the UAE, would be ready for the T20 World Cup.
“I think over the years, we have seen when he (Warner) is got to bat against the world (teams), he is far (better player). I have got no issues with the preparation that he has had,” said Finch of Warner, who has played 81 T20 Internationals.
“We have seen him in great spirits, he is coming here with a great attitude and he is organising things behind the scenes, he is doing everything that he loves to do, I have got no issues that come game one he will be ready to go,” Finch said at a virtual media conference hosted by the ICC on Thursday.
Asked about the World T20 trophy continuing to elude them, a candid Finch said: “Yes, it is the one that has eluded us. We have been close a couple of times but we have also been quite a distance off in other times. We are still very confident going into (the World Cup).
“We have got a group that have played a lot of T20, not a huge amount together, guys are at different stages of preparation and getting back to playing. It comes down to getting it done on the day,” said Finch. Australia’s best-ever show in the tournament had been a runners-up finish to England, led by Paul Collingwood, in the 2010 final.
Asked what would be the batting position for the other senior pro Steve Smith, who hardly got game-time in the UAE leg of the IPL, Finch said: “Similar to Maxi (Glenn Maxwell). He (Smith) is someone who can be really adaptable through that middle overs. He provides us with a lot of options and a lot of flexibility.”
There was good news on his personal front as Finch’s recovery from a knee surgery in August has been ahead of schedule and he will be available for the T20 warm-up game against India on October 20.
Finch underwent a surgery in August to repair cartilage in his right knee and there were initial doubts regarding his availability for Australia’s two warm-up games against New Zealand (October 18) and India.
“Yeah, it is all good. I think it’s nine weeks tomorrow, post-surgery, so everything has come along really well. It is probably a couple of weeks ahead of schedule,” he added.
Australia open their T20 World Cup campaign against South Africa on October 23 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.