T20 World Cup Final: Aaron Finch reveals he predicted David Warner’s Man of the Tournament, says ‘Can’t believe people wrote him off’

A month ago David Warner was all but finished in many people’s eyes including his own IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad. But Aaron Finch had his faith in his opening partner and during a call with coach Justin Langer, he even predicted, “David Warner will win Man of the Tournament’. The stylish opener did just that, bagging the MoT award finishing as the second-highest scorer of the tournament behind Pakistan’s Babar Azam.

“I certainly expected David to win the Man of the Tournament award. Without a word of a lie, I will tell you that I called up Justin Langer a few months ago and told him don’t worry about him, he will be Man of the Tournament. He is a great player and one of all-time greats and he is a fighter. When he has his back against the wall, that’s when you get the very best of David Warner,” Aaron Finch said at the post-match press conference on Sunday.

David Warner is all smiles with his Player-of-the-Tournament trophy, Australia vs New Zealand, T20 World Cup final, Dubai, November 14, 2021

David Warner was removed as the captain and dropped from the playing XI by his IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad. His selection in Australia’s T20 World Cup squad and Playing XI raised a few questions.

David Warner repaid the faith. In this T20 World Cup, he has scored 289 runs in 7 innings including three half-centuries at an average of 48.16 and a strike rate of 146.70 — similar figures to what he had shown in IPL till 2020.

The Australian team goes up in celebration, Australia vs New Zealand, T20 World Cup final, Dubai, November 14, 2021

“Always felt really well. Didn’t get much time in the middle in the two practice matches obviously. But for me, it was about going back to basics. Going to hard, synthetic wickets and try to hit some balls. Definitely up there with 2015. Being part of the World Cup final against England a decade ago definitely hurt,” said Warner in a post-match presentation.

Mitchell Marsh and Warner played knocks of 77 and 53 as Australia defeated New Zealand in the finals of the T20 World Cup to lift their maiden title in the shortest format. Josh Hazlewood too shined with 3/16 but Kane Williamson’s 85 helped New Zealand set a 173-run target. But Warner and Marsh made short work of the NZ bowling attack.

With that, Australia broke their jinx in the T20 World Cup and silenced critics that they aren’t a great T20 team. Finch said it was especially sweet as the team was under immense scrutiny for poor performance in West Indies and Bangladesh and dressing room feud with coach Justin Langer.

“We had a tough few months. But the bond in the team is unbelievable. We (Justin and Finch) spoke during the camp and that helped ease the differences. It was about having an honest conversation. We had unbelievable support back home even when we weren’t playing our best cricket. We owed it to them,” Aaron Finch said.

Justin Langer, Steven Smith, David Warner and Aaron Finch react as the winning runs are hit, Australia vs New Zealand, T20 World Cup final, Dubai, November 14, 2021

The Australian captain also agreed that toss played a big factor. In Dubai, apart from New Zealand’s win against Scotland, no other team had won a match batting first in the T20 World Cup. On Sunday, Finch won the toss again, for a record, sixth time and that made the difference as NZ spinners and pacers failed to contain Marsh and Warner on a difficult wicket to bowl in the second innings.

Why Toss was crucial? Win the toss and OPT TO BOWL

  1. England beat West Indies by 6 wkts – Won the toss, bowl first
  2. Pakistan beat India by 10 wkts – Won the toss, bowl first
  3. South Africa beat WI by 8 wkts – Won the toss, bowl first
  4. Australia beat Sri Lanka by 7 wkts – Won the toss, bowl first
  5. Pakistan beat Afghanistan by 5 wkts – Afghanistan won the toss, batted first
  6. England beat Australia by 8 wkts – Won the toss, bowl first
  7. New Zealand beat India by 8 wkts – Won the toss, bowl first
  8. NZ won by 16 runs against Scotland – Scotland won the toss, bowl 1st
  9. Australia beat Bangladesh by 8 wkts – Won the toss, bowl first
  10. India beat Scotland by 8 wkts – Won the toss, bowl first
  11. India beat Namibia by 9 wkts – Won the toss, bowl first
  12. Australia beat Paksitan by 5 wkts – Won the toss, bowl first
  13. Australia beat New Zealand by 8 wickets – Won the toss, bowl first

“Toss did play a big factor, to be honest. I tried to play it down as much as I could because I knew at some point of the tournament I would lose the toss and would have to bat first. But it did play a big factor. You saw it with the dew factor. The slow balls weren’t holding on the wicket as much,” Aaron Finch said.