Star Australia batsman David Warner may be woefully out of form and hasn't played any international match in the shortest format for over a year but his opener's slot in the upcoming T20 World Cup is not under any doubt, limited-over captain Aaron Finch said on Wednesday.
Finch backed Warner to be his opening partner at the T20 World Cup to be played in Oman and UAE from October 17, despite Warner being dropped by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL this year.
"Yep, absolutely He's one of the best players to ever play the game for Australia," Finch said on the eve of Australia's departure to the UAE for the showpiece.
"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," he said, according to ESPNCricinfo.
Warner hasn't played a T20I for Australia since September 2020, missing the last 14 matches across four series due to a combination of injury, rest, and schedule clashes.
He has endured a difficult IPL season across the two halves of the tournament, scoring just two half-centuries in eight innings. He was dropped as captain by Sunrisers during the first half of the IPL season in India.
He didn't tour with Australia to the Caribbean and Bangladesh mid-year in order to rest for the second half of the IPL and the World Cup but scored just 0 and 2 in his first two games on resumption of the IPL in the UAE and was left out of Sunrisers' side again.
Finch himself is entering the tournament after a surgery to repair cartilage in his right knee in August. Initially, there were doubts regarding his availability for Australia's two warm-up games against New Zealand (October 18) and India (October 20).
But, he said he is confident he will be able to play in both of them, which will be a boost for the squad's disjointed preparation.
"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."
Most of the members of the Australian squad have had minimal recent game-time under their belts.
Glenn Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood are in sparkling form in the IPL but Marcus Stoinis has suffered a hamstring injury and has not batted in the middle after breaking down in the first game on resumption.
Steve Smith has been in and out of Delhi Capital's line-up, playing just two matches.
Those based in Australia have hardly had any cricket having difficulties trying to train due to the various lockdowns in Australia.