Victorious Australia captain Aaron Finch says writing David Warner off at the start of the tournament was like poking the bear as the opener emerged player of the tournament with big knocks in semi-final and final.
The attacking left-hander scored 289 runs in the tournament after being a tough time in the IPL with Sunrisers Hyderabad where he was left out of the back-end.
In the final, he scored 38-ball-53 and added 92 with player of the match Mitchell Marsh, who remained unbeaten on 77 to guide Australia to its first ever T20 World Cup title.
“I can’t believe people wrote him off a couple of weeks ago. It was almost like poking the bear,” the skipper said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Australia became the latest team to become the world champions in this format, as the men’s T20 World Cup had proved to be elusive for them. The women’s team has won five titles out of six finals and now Finch and Co ended a long wait for the men.
“This is huge, to be the first Australia team to do it. So proud of how the guys went about the campaign,” Finch said .
He was all praise for his heroes Adam Zampa, who was brilliant with his leg breaks throughout the tourney and Marsh, who won the final for them.
“[Zampa] is ‘Player of the tournament’ for me. He controlled the game, got big wickets, super player. Mitch Marsh, what a way to start, put pressure on from the start. Matt Wade came in under an injury cloud and got the job done. He came in in the semi-final alongside Marcus Stoinis and did the business.”
He agreed that the team’s rhythm got better when they demolished Bangladesh. Asked if Bangladesh game was the turning point, Finch replied, “Certainly it was. Our backs were against the wall. We had to fight and certainly did that, had some great team and individual performances.”
Former skipper Steve Smith also echoed his current captain’s sentiment about Warner.
“Warner’s last two weeks have been amazing. A lot of people were writing him off. He came in with exceptional intent and took the game away at the start.”
For Warner, it was always about being pumped up but at the same time going back to his basics.
“I always felt good, for me it was about going back to basics, getting on some hard, synthetic wickets in order to hit volumes of balls.
“(This tournament is) definitely up there with 2015 (World Cup). Losing to England a decade ago really hurt. These are a great bunch of guys, great support staff, and great support around the world, especially back home.
“Always pumped, wanted to put on a spectacle. There were some nerves around as always in a final but great to see the guys deliver.”
Player of the match Marsh was over the moon and thanked the coaching staff which had told him that he will bat at number three in the tournament.
“I don’t really have words, what an amazing six weeks with this group. Love them to death. World champs. The coaching staff came up to me in the West Indies and said you’re going to bat three for this tournament, and I jumped at it.
“Have the staff to thank for backing me and getting me up the top there.”
Marsh is the leading runscorer in T20Is for Australia this year with more than 600 runs to his name and his great form has been a result of a promotion to No 3.
“The coaching staff came up to me in the West Indies and said you’re going to bat three for this tournament, and I jumped at it. Have the staff to thank for backing me and getting me up the top there,” he added.
(With PTI inputs)