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Australian captain Aaron Finch confirms roles for David Warner and Steve Smith


Despite a torrid IPL season, David Warner still has the full backing of skipper Aaron Finch ahead of the T20 World Cup later this month.

“Yep, absolutely,” Finch told reporters when asked if the plan was still to open alongside Warner.

“He’s one of the best players to have ever played the game for Australia. I’ve got no doubts in his preparation – while he’d love to be playing for Hyderabad no doubt, I know that he’s still training away and he’ll be good to go.”

Warner was dropped from his IPL team last week for the remainder of the tournament, in the midst of easily his most disappointing season in that competition.

The 34-year-old has 195 runs across eight innings for Sunrisers Hyderabad, while former Test captain Steve Smith fared even more poorly for the Delhi Capitals, scoring 152 runs at an average of 25.33.

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Finch said regardless of form, Smith would bat somewhere in the three to six area, without settling on a fixed spot.

“He’s a brilliant player of spin, he’s someone who can adapt to all situations in the game, so we see that as a real asset for us.

“We’ve got a lot of power there, when you go; Mitch Marsh, Maxwell, Smith, Stoinis, Wade – there’s a lot of power there and there’s a lot of ways that we can go about it.”

Finch said there was “no doubt” Smith would be in the starting team, giving a ringing endorsement of his past accomplishments.

The team gets out of quarantine with three days of training and two practice games scheduled, ahead of Australia’s first match against South Africa on Saturday, October 23rd.

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Finch, who is celebrating the birth of a baby daughter, will lead the squad when they depart for the UAE on Thursday. He also said his own struggles with a knee injury were behind him.

“The last couple of weeks have been fine – it’s been building up gradually. I had probably my biggest session in terms of fielding, changing direction, all the stuff, with batting involved as well.

“It’s going as well as it could be.”

Australia are third-favourites to win the tournament, which is now in its seventh iteration. Success has eluded them in the format so far, reaching the final in 2010 but never lifting the trophy.

The Aussies have also failed to reach the semi-finals at the last two events in 2014 and 2016.

“We understand that we haven’t played the best in these tournaments,” Finch said.

“We’re still very confident. We know that if we play our best, we’re going to be hard to beat and we can match it with the best in the world.”

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