Steve Smith and David Warner
Steve Smith and David Warner (Image Credit: Twitter)

Australia batsman Steve Smith said that David Warner has answered his critics with the bat after bagging the Man of the Tournament award following Australia’s maiden T20 World Cup triumph as they defeated New Zealand in the final on Sunday in Dubai.

David Warner was coming on the back of a torrid time in the IPL, where he was sacked as the captain and dropped from the team. He had also registered two single-digit scores in the warm-up games.

However, the southpaw turned the tide: he ended up as Australia‘s leading run-scorer – and second only to Babar Azam – scoring 289 runs at an average of 48 while striking at 146. He struck three fifties in the tournament, including a crucial knock of 53 runs off 38 balls in the final.

David Warner
David Warner. (Photo: Twitter)

Smith said that David Warner came into the tournament with “exceptional intent” and was instrumental in their title win.

“It means a lot. We have worked hard for a long time and it is an honour to be here with the boys and take the trophy home. Warner’s last two weeks have been amazing. A lot of people were writing him off. He came in with exceptional intent and took the game away at the start,” Steve Smith said after the game.

Told Langer that David Warner will be Player of the Tournament: Aaron Finch

Amid the doubts over David Warner’s form heading into the tournament, Aaron Finch threw his weight behind his opening partner, telling coach Justin Langer that Warner will be the Player of the Tournament, the Aussie skipper revealed this at the press conference after their final win.

Finch said that though he felt Adam Zampa should have been the Man of the Tournament, he lauded Warner for his outstanding batting in the tournament.

David Warner and Aaron Finch
David Warner and Aaron Finch (Image Credit: Twitter)

“You didn’t expect that? [Warner winning the Man of the Tournament]. I certainly did,” Aaron Finch told reporters.

“Without a word of a lie, I promise you, I called Justin Langer a few months ago and I said ‘don’t worry about Davey, he’ll be man of the tournament’.

“I thought Adam Zampa should have been man of the tournament personally but [Warner]’s a great player, he’s one of the all-time great batters and he’s a fighter. He’s someone who when his back’s against the wall, that’s when you get the very, very best of David Warner. It was a special finish to the tournament for him, the last couple of knocks,” he added.

Australia head back home for the celebrations as they prepare for the Ashes series. New Zealand fly to India for a 3-T20I series and 2 Tests.

Also Read: IND vs NZ 2021: Hopefully, We Can Get Up And Have A Really Great Performance Against India – Gary Stead