Good to be back and a great win: David Warner
David Warner made a fantastic international comeback with an unbeaten 89 in Australia’s comfortable seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in their World Cup opener in Bristol on Saturday.
After the bowlers did their job by restricting Afghanistan to a modest total of 207, Warner, who came back to open along with captain Aaron Finch with Usman Khawaja batting at No. 3, was a tad watchful early on but not unsteady as such.
Finch did the bulk of the scoring then and after his dismissal, Warner wasted little time to make sure the scoreboard was kept ticking. Incidentally, it was Warner and Steve Smith (18) who almost took Australia home with their 49-run stand for the third wicket.
Warner’s knock featured eight fours. Agreed, he got these many runs against an Afghanistan attack, which is not the strongest in this World Cup. But it assumes significance because Warner will get extra confidence and be in an even better frame of mind going into Australia’s coming matches that most likely are going to be tougher.
“It’s good to be back. It was a great win and a really very good start for us… Got to keep the ball rolling,” Warner, adjudged Man of the Match in his very first international appearance after serving the one-year ban because of ball tampering, said at the post-match presentation.
He did admit about feeling a little bit nervous before going out to bat, but Finch’s stroke-play helped to calm his nerves. “There’s always a bit of nerves getting back into the camp and getting back into the full intensity of training. I was a bit more relaxed when Finchy started going.
“For us, its getting past this first victory and moving on to the West Indies,” he said.
“Great energy and great buzz” about the current Aussie line-up spurs Warner on and keeps him in very good stead. “We know the bowlers always say that one-day cricket is a batsman’s game, but you saw the out and out quicks going through the (Afghanistan) line-up earlier on.
“For us as batsmen, it’s about holding our nerves. This team is a different one from the one back then (in the 2015 Cup). There was more experience then, but there is a great energy and great buzz about this team,” Warner emphasised.
Captain Finch too was relieved on seeing Warner getting important runs. “Extremely important for Warner to get runs. He was struggling initially, but he hung on.
“It was always going to be difficult for the new batsman, so he got stuck in and then got rewarded.
Asked if Australia had thought of boosting their net run rate during their reply, Finch said: “In such situations, it’s important not to get too far ahead. ”