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David Warner may have lost the captaincy and eventually his place at SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) but he will still open the batting for Australia at the T20 World Cup, captain Aaron Finch has said. Finch said that Warner is “one of the best players to ever play the game for Australia” and will come good at the tournament.

Australia face South Africa in what will be the first game of the Super 12 stage on October 23. “Yep, absolutely,” Finch told the media when asked if Warner will open the batting with him. “He’s one of the best players to ever play the game for Australia. 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.”

Finch said that Australia are contenders for the title despite most players in the squad having scant preparation. Many of Australia’s first-choice players elected to skip the recent white-ball tours of West Indies and Bangladesh and also sit out the resumption of the IPL.

Leading fast bowler Pat Cummins has not played a match since April, Finch himself is also short of cricket after having recent knee surgery. All-rounder Marcus Stoinis is battling a hamstring strain and Steve Smith has only played a bit-part role for IPL side Delhi Capitals.

The two warmup games and the lead-in to the World Cup is going to be really crucial,” Finch said.

“It’s a difficult one because … training indoors or training just in the nets is obviously no comparison obviously to game intensity. But I’ve got a lot of confidence in the experience of the group. We’ve got guys who have come off long layoffs before, we’ve got guys who have come off injuries before. And it’s not really all that much different when you’re trying to get yourself up to speed quickly,” said Finch.

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