Warner Scores 85 In Hyderabad IPL Return
Suspended superstar David Warner has made an emphatic World Cup statement in his team's Indian Premier League opener, smashing 85 in Kolkata.
Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns described the IPL as a "good test" for Warner and Steve Smith to see where they are at after a year in exile.
Warner showed few signs of rust in his first outing for http://www.justcanvey.co.uk/author/iolaroepke7/ Sunrisers Hyderabad this year, scoring freely and quickly against a Kolkata Knight Riders attack featuring star spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine.
The sacked vice-captain, branded 'never to lead again' as part of Cricket Australia's sanctions following the Cape Town cheating scandal, clobbered three sixes and nine fours to show why he will be a key part of Australia's World Cup defence.
Warner, now into the final week of his year-long ban from international cricket, was already expected to march into Australia's 15-man World Cup squad.
But the form of every batsman in the current ODI squad, especially incumbent openers Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja, has ignited debate about where the former vice-captain will sit in the pecking order.
"There's going to be some really tough calls, so we'll wait and see," Finch said after his man-of-the-match century in Australia's fourth consecutive ODI win.
"But it's a huge position to be in, to be able to make those tough calls rather than having guys you need to fill spots.
"We've got guys who are all putting their hand up which is a real positive."
As Australia started their second ODI against Pakistan in Sharjah, Warner gave a timely reminder of his ability to dismantle an attack while powering Hyderabad to a total of 3-181.
The hard-hitting opener, having posted a grade-cricket century during his recent return from elbow surgery, picked up where he left off at Coogee Oval.
Kolkata keeper Dinesh Karthik put down a leg-side chance when Warner was on 68 but the Australian otherwise dictated terms until Robin Uthappa plucked an astonishing catch.
Warner put on a 118-run opening stand with Jonny Bairstow, the Englishman he will likely square off against during this year's Ashes.
Smith's Rajasthan Royals start their campaign on Monday.