Australia demote comeback man David Warner to No 3 in the warm-up game against New Zealand
Warner coming at No 3, after Khawaja was trapped. scored 39 in a comeback match for Australia against Kiwis.
Updated - May 6, 2019 11:08 am
David Warner and Steve Smith finally returned to Australian team on Monday during the warm-up clash against New Zealand in Brisbane. Both the teams will play three such games in order to prepare themselves for the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales, commencing on May 30. The first warm-up game marks Warner and Smith’s return to the national fold after serving year-long bans for their part in the infamous ball-tampering scandal last year.
But the focus soon shifted to another topic when Australia released their team list. Warner was demoted to No.3 as the reigning world champions persisted with the in-form opening combination between Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja. While there were big doubts whether Warner would open the innings, many thought that Australia would give him his usual batting position after the southpaw’s display in this IPL.
Warner was in sensational form in the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Even though he has returned to Australia after playing 12 matches, he is still the top run-getter in the ongoing IPL. The left-handed batsman smashed 8 fifties and one century in just 12 games to amass a staggering 692 runs. So far, no other batsman has even crossed the 600-run mark this season. However, his form in IPL made little difference as Justin Langer chose Finch and Khawaja to open the innings.
Finch and Khawaja have been in stunning form at the moment. During the series against India and Pakistan, Finch and Khawaja put together seven fifty-plus opening stands including partnerships of 193, 209 and 134. With both the batsmen in prime form leading up to the World Cup, the Australian team-management decided against changing the combination to make room for their former vice-captain.
Warner’s show on comeback:
David Warner, meanwhile, scored 39 in his comeback match for Australia. Warner arrived at the crease in the first over after Khawaja was dismissed on the fifth ball of the innings. The hard-hitting opener started in an unconvincing manner before finding his rhythm. Warner steadied the ship and started playing his trademark shots before being sent back for 39 as Australia chase 216.