David Warner and Aaron Finch will play their last international Twenty20 matches if Australia can’t get out of the group stages this World Cup, ex-Aussie cricketer Ed Cowan has warned.
Both openers are struggling for form, with Warner remarkably dropped from his Indian Premier League side last month, and Cowan says the looming T20 World Cup would be make-or-break for both players.
“This is the litmus test for Aaron Finch,” Cowan said on ABC’s Grandstand.
“If Australia is bundled out in the group stages, he is no longer the T20 captain. He probably won’t play for Australia in the format again. Dave Warner probably won’t play in the format again.
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“David Warner hasn’t been at his best in this format for some time. Aaron Finch the same.
“We can not overlook the struggles (Finch’s) had in this format, probably for the last two years.
“This is the last roll of the dice for these two.
“The role of the opening partnership in T20 cricket is THE partnership.”
Finch struggled in the last BBL series, averaging just 13.7 while hitting just three sixes in 13 innings.
Warner could only muster 195 runs from his eight innings in the IPL before he was dropped from the squad – despite being on a whopping $1.7 million deal.
Cowan said Australia had a winning side “on paper”, but admitted doubts the current squad could take home the title of world’s best.
“Twelve months ago, Australia was the number one ranked T20 side in the world,” he said.
“(But) it’s the same old names. It’s the last roll of the dice for this group of players.
“This has been five years since the last World Cup. We’re about to find out if this team is really any good.
“The pieces of the puzzle are there.
“Can they win the World Cup? My gut feeling says no.”
Australia’s first match of the World Cup against South Africa starts from 6pm WST on Saturday.