Former Australian spin wizard Shane Warner has backed embattled opener David Warner, saying that he should not be dropped from the side for the opening game against South Africa in the ICC T20 World Cup on October 23 on the basis of a patchy form.
Australia, who have never won a T20 World Cup despite being one of the strongest sides in the world, will open their campaign against another underachievers South Africa in a ‘Super 12’ Group 1 game in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
David Warner has had a lean year so far, with his IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad, of which he was the captain during the India leg, finishing last. Even after being replaced by New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, Warner’s form continued to be patchy and he was finally dropped from the XI after playing a couple of matches in the lucrative league during the Dubai leg.
The Australian’s poor form also continued in the warm-up games and skipper Aaron Finch wouldn’t want his side to wobble in the opener. But Warner has found an ally in Warne, who has pitched for his inclusion.
“To me, Davey Warner is a class act,” Warne told SEN Breakfast on Friday. “Okay, 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.
“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,” added Warne.
Warne added that if the 34-year-old could get some runs on the board, it would do his confidence a world of good, and he could become one of the players of the tournament.
“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. 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.”