A fit David Warner will open the innings for Australia in their World Cup-opener against Afghanistan on Saturday (June 1). There was a huge confusion over who would Australia prefer at the top of order between Warner and in-form Usman Khawaja. While Warner’s exploits with the bat is well known across the world, Khawaja’s recent form made it tough for Australia to pick the batsman who can open alongside Aaron Finch.
In the ongoing year, Khawaja has scored a staggering 769 ODI runs at 59.15 in 2019. During the series in India, he scored 383 runs, including two centuries, in Australia’s 3-2 series. He also impressed with the bat during the 5-0 whitewash over Pakistan in UAE. The southpaw then staked a claim to open the innings by scoring a match-winning fifty against Sri Lanka in the second warm-up game.
But Warner also had an impressive outing in the Indian Premier League where he finished as the top run-scorer. He, however, has not quite managed to do well for Australia in the practise and warm-up games. But head coach Justin Langer has confirmed that Warner would open the innings for Australia if he is fit. Warner is currently nursing a sore right glute.
With a minimum of nine group stage games to play, Langer made it clear that Australia would not risk Warner so early in the tournament.
“We’ve got to make sure we don’t aggravate it early in a long tournament. He will open the first game if he’s fit,” Langer said.
In case Warner fails to recover, Australia will have some relief on their combinations headache at the top of the order. In-form Khawaja will open the innings along with skipper Aaron Finch while Shaun Marsh and Steve Smith will bat at number three and four respectively.