India fine-tuned their T20 World Cup preparations with a convincing nine-wicket win over Australia in their final warm-up game in Dubai on Wednesday.
Australia batsman Steve Smith, who top scored for his side with a crafty 48-ball 57, tipped India to win the T20 World Cup.
“They’re a terrific side, they’ve got all bases covered and some serious match-winners,” Smith told reporters after the match.
“They’ve all been playing in these conditions the last couple of months with the Indian Premier League (IPL). So they’ll be used to that.”
Smith scored a half-century to help Australia post a competitive 152 for five in the tuneup in Dubai but India’s batsmen mowed down the total with 13 balls to spare to win by eight wickets.
Rohit Sharma (60 retired off 41) showed sublime touch alongside opening partner K L Rahul (39 off 31) as India chased down Australia’s 152 for five in 17.5 overs.
Suryakumar Yadav (38 not out off 27) came at number three in Kohli’s absence and got valuable time in the middle which should boost his confidence going ahead. Hardik Pandya (14 not out off 8) came at four to finish the game and he did it with a clean hit over the bowler’s head.
The form of David Warner remains a major concern for Australia after the opener was trapped lbw by Ravichandran Ashwin for one.
Warner, who was dropped by IPL team SunRisers Hyderabad after twin failures with the bat, has managed only three runs from his last four innings.
The lefthander was not alone in his struggles, with Finch out for eight and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, batting at number three, removed by Ashwin for a first-ball duck.
The former skipper was glad to get runs after being barely used by Delhi Capitals on the IPL’s resumption in the Middle East.
“I feel like I’ve been hitting the ball really well,” he said.
“I haven’t played too many games in the IPL but I’ve spent a lot of time in the nets, working on things and getting used to conditions.”
Australia meet South Africa in their World Cup opener in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
India will face their arch-rivals Pakistan in their World Cup opener in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.