Australia World Cup stars ready to follow David Warner into battle vs England

England can expect to take on a swaggering, confident, in-form David Warner on Saturday for a giant step towards a T20 World Cup semi-final spot.

A typically pugnacious 65 from 42 balls against Sri Lanka on Thursday was the perfect tune up for Warner who had been short of a score in recent months until he broke free in Dubai.

And although the 35-year-old hasn’t hurt England too often in the white ball matches that matter, his reputation as a world class short form opener is there for good reason.

And then there is the competitive instinct that fires him up whenever England are involved.

Once dubbed ‘the bull’ for his no-nonsense full steam ahead style, Warner has matured into a more thoughtful athlete over time, but his team-mates know that the fire still burns for the contest.

“Davy is a huge player for us,” said vice captain Pat Cummins. “For the last decade he has been huge for Australian cricket.

“I think opening the batting, that's where you can really set up the innings and you saw yesterday, the way him and Finchy took the game on.

“It makes those kind of 150 targets either tough to get or you feel like you're well ahead of the run rate straightaway, so he was fantastic.

“He's also another player that is a big game player who likes taking on the big teams.

“I'm sure tomorrow you'll see him puffing his chest out. And he's someone that our whole team absolutely loves playing alongside.

“We all go with him and back him up so it was fantastic to see him back in the runs, he is such a good player.”

It shows just how far Warner has come since his own moment of madness surrounding sandpapergate in 2018, when he was said to have ‘gone rogue’ and was isolated from team-mates, especially the bowlers.

There was genuine affection from Cummins for Warner and the part he could play in Australian success at the tournament, but they will have to get past an England side with several players who were involved in their 50-over semi-final walloping in 2019.

Interestingly Cummins doesn’t think there will be a hangover from that experience, even though the Aussies are likely to have seven of the same players involved.

“They've been, probably just about the form team the last few years in white ball cricket so it’s a huge game,” he added.

“We know these guys really well. We know it's such a big game in the context of making those semi finals.

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“I’ve always enjoyed coming up against England. As you say there are a few players that will be coming out this summer from their side so it'd be great to get one on the board against them early.

“As for scars from 2019? I don't think so. I was a little while ago in a different format.”

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