Shane Warne backs David Warner to fire

Australian cricket great Shane Warne has boldly declared out-of-form opener David Warner could be one of the “players of the tournament” at the T20 World Cup despite the worst lead-in imaginable.

Warner has faced just 14 balls in any games since April, and made just three runs, after skipping Australia’s winter white-ball tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh.

He was dropped by his Indian Premier League team last month after two early failures, and then was out for a duck and one in Australia’s only two World Cup warm-up games this week.

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Pressure is mounting on the 34-year-old as he tries to help guide Australia to its first T20 World Cup title in the United Arab Emirates.

But amid strong, and expected, support from his teammates, Warner has also found an ally in Warne, who said the 2265 T20 runs he has scored for Australia across 81 matches, as well as nearly 5500 IPL runs, was enough evidence of what he could produce.

Warne said “class is permanent” as he backed Warner to fire.

“To me, Davey Warner is a class act,” Warne said on Friday.

“OK, he’s had a couple of poor performances or hasn’t really got a score, coming into the tournament he hasn’t played much cricket, so he’s a bit out of form.

David Warner has got backing from Shane Warne. Picture: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi
David Warner has got backing from Shane Warne. Picture: AAP Image/Bianca De MarchiSource: AAP

“But I think he’s the type of guy who rises to the big occasion.

“The old saying, I know it’s a cliche, but class is permanent and form is temporary. I really think that’s the case with David, I really think he’s so dynamic.”

Australia begins its World Cup campaign against South Africa on Saturday, and Warner’s partnership with captain Aaron Finch, who is also coming off a limited preparation following knee surgery, is crucial.

Warne said Warner could be “one of the players of the tournament” and dismissed any suggestion of selectors overlooking him in the early games.

“If he’s on song, I think the first couple of games are really important. If he gets away, he could be one of the players of the tournament,” Warne told SEN.

“He could be absolutely firing, so for me he plays, absolutely no doubt in those first few games, he plays and hopefully finds his touch.”

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