ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021
Finch thanks Warner's critics for 'poking the bear'
David Warner's long-time opening partner says he never doubted the left-hander would return to form at the T20 World Cup
15 November 2021, 10:46 AM AEST
Australia can thank former England coach Trevor Bayliss in part for David Warner's Twenty20 World Cup heroics, with Aaron Finch claiming the opener's critics poked the bear.
Warner was dropped by Bayliss at Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League just two months ago, following scores of zero and two.
It prompted questions over his form ahead of the T20 World Cup after another run of outs in the warm-up games.
But come Sunday night in Dubai, Warner was toasting a third half-century of the World Cup, claiming man-of-the-tournament honours in Australia's maiden T20 title triumph.
"I can't believe people wrote him off a couple of weeks ago saying he was done," Finch said.
"It was like poking the bear."
An Australian native, Bayliss was England's coach between 2015 and 2019.
It was in the latter of those Ashes series where England's attack also ran through Warner with the swinging ball with ease.
But Finch insisted he had never lost faith in his opening partner after the most recent run of outs, claiming he'd predicted his prize when Warner's struggles first began.
"I called Justin Langer a few months ago and said: 'Don't worry about Davey, he'll be man of the tournament'," Finch said.
"He's one of the all-time great batters. And he's a fighter.
"He's someone who when his back is 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."
Warner endured a similar run ahead of the 2019 one-day World Cup, where he was also the second leading run-scorer and averaged 83.33.
But this time he also delivered in the big games, setting up Australia's chase against Pakistan in the semi-final with 49 before hitting 53 from 38.
He did it training on polished concrete and synthetic wickets, trying to regain his rhythm with the ball coming onto the bat rather than on the worn training pitches.
And ultimately, it earned him a prize in a T20 World Cup after he and Steve Smith remained as the last Australians from the 2010 decider loss to England.
"I always felt really well," Warner said.
"For me it was just about going back to basics ... and hitting volumes of balls.
"I was able to do that.
"This is definitely up there with 2015 (ODI World Cup win). Being part of the World Cup final against England a decade ago really hurt."
2021 Men's T20 World Cup
Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams