Returning opener to play 100th match as Australia and West Indies kick off three-game Dettol T20I series
Warner returns for first T20I to notch rare milestone
David Warner will become the first Australian to play 100 matches in all three formats and he'll get first crack in tonight's Dettol T20I series opener after West Indies captain Rovman Powell won the toss and opted to bowl.
Warner has been listed to open alongside Josh Inglis in Hobart in his 100th T20 International, joining Aaron Finch (103) and Glenn Maxwell (100) as the only Australian men to achieve the feat.
Alongside India's Virat Kohli and New Zealand's Ross Taylor, Warner is just the third man to represent his country more than 100 times in Tests, ODIs and T20Is.
Warner, Inglis, captain Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa, Sean Abbott and Marcus Stoinis return to the XI that was beaten by six runs in the fifth T20 in India in December.
It's an Australian side now resembling an almost full-strength line-up after most first-choice stars were rested from that 4-1 series loss to India following the 50-over World Cup triumph days earlier.
Australia XI: Josh Inglis, David Warner, Mitch Marsh (c), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Sean Abbott, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff, Josh Hazlewood
West Indies XI: Brandon King, Johnson Charles, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Shai Hope, Rovman Powell (c), Sherfane Rutherford, Andre Russell, Jason Holder, Romario Shepherd, Alzarri Joseph, Akeal Hosein
Tonight's match at Bellerive Oval is the first of six T20s remaining for Australia to fine-tune their preparations for the T20 World Cup in June with a three-match series in New Zealand to follow the three games against West Indies in Hobart, Adelaide (Sunday) and Perth (Tuesday).
This is the Windies' last scheduled T20 series before hosting the World Cup but head coach Darren Sammy is hoping to add two more series against South Africa and India prior to the tournament.
The Windies won all three of their T20 series in 2023, beating England 3-2 in December, India 3-2 last August and South Africa 2-1 last March.
Andre Russell is one of several superstars to come back into the line-up over the past year, marking his return to international cricket for the first time since their final group stage match of the 2021 World Cup against Australia.
Jason Holder also sat out the recent Test and ODI series against Australia to hone his T20 skills for Dubai Capitals in the UAE ILT20 league where he collected seven wickets in seven games and averaged 32.33 with the bat striking at 161 in five innings.
Nicholas Pooran was that tournament's second highest run-scorer with 261 striking at more than 170 in his eight innings for MI Emirates.
Today's milestone cements Warner's status as arguably Australia's greatest all-format batter after retiring from Test and 50-over cricket last month as the country's most prolific opener in Tests and second-highest run-scorer at the top in ODIs behind Adam Gilchrist.
Behind Finch (3120), the 37-year-old left-hander is the nation's second highest run-scorer of all-time leading in the shortest format with 2894 at 32.88, earning player-of-the-tournament honours in Australia's maiden T20 World Cup triumph in 2021.
His 18,612 runs at 42.49 puts his second only to Ricky Ponting for the most runs scored for Australia across the three formats.
"It's a testament to your skill and your fitness to be able to be here for such an extended period of time," stand-in Australia coach Daniel Vettori said of Warner during a presentation before the match.
"I know that when you retired from Test matches, there was a lot of people outside the group and within the group say that you're Australia's greatest three-format player (and) playing your 100th game today is a culmination of that."
Men's Dettol T20I Series v West Indies
February 9: Blundstone Arena, Hobart 7.00pm AEDT
February 11: Adelaide Oval, 7pm AEDT
February 13: Perth Stadium, 7pm AEDT
Australia T20I squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
West Indies T20I squad: Rovman Powell (c), Shai Hope, Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas