Warner making up for lost time in IPL

Disgraced Aussie Opener feels he is ‘refreshed’ before 2019 World Cup

Warner making up for lost time in IPL PHOTO: AFP

David Warner had little opportunity to stake his claim for a place in Australia's World Cup squad as he served a year-long ban for ball-tampering and so it is no surprise to see the batsman cranking out the runs in the Indian Premier League.

Cricket Australia slapped former captain Steve Smith and his deputy Warner with 12-month suspensions, which expired last week, for the Cape Town scandal and the duo are expected to be included in the 15-man World Cup squad.

Two months out from the World Cup in England, Warner showed he had lost none of his marauding form by smashing 85 in 53 balls in Hyderabad's IPL opener against Kolkata Knight Riders.

The 32-year-old continued in the same vein against Rajasthan, the day after his international ban ended, scoring 69 off 37 deliveries, and then remained unbeaten on 100 against Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday.

Warner leads the run-getters' list and has also notched three consecutive 100-run partnership for the opening wicket with Englishman Jonny Bairstow, who scored a blistering 114 against Bangalore.

"The 12 months has done me well," Warner said after putting up the highest opening stand of 185 with Bairstow on Sunday. "I'm nice and refreshed. What a terrific innings here by Jonny, and a fantastic partnership by both of us."

Warner's Sunrisers trail only three-times champions Chennai in the early stages of the Twenty20 tournament.

Led by former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Super Kings look unstoppable and have won all three of their matches. At the other end of the scale, Dhoni's protege and current India captain Kohli has a mighty task on his hands if he is to lead Bangalore to a first IPL title after losing their first three games.