David Warner given time-off before New Zealand T20I clash

Australia head coach Darren Lehman had said that T20I stand-in captain Warner would head home to Sydney after attending the Allan Border Medal count in Melbourne to freshen up mentally.

David Warner (above) is leading the Australian T20 side in the absence of rested regular captain Steve Smith.   -  AFP

Australian star opener David Warner has been given some time-off before his side resumes T20I tri-series campaign against New Zealand on February 16 at the iconic Eden Park, Auckland.

Confirming the news, Australia head coach Darren Lehman had said that T20I stand-in captain Warner would head home to Sydney after attending the Allan Border Medal count in Melbourne to freshen up mentally, ahead of the upcoming match.

The 31-year-old opener, who is leading the T20 side in the absence of rested regular captain Steve Smith, is the only member of the victorious Ashes side to feature in all three formats of the game this Australian summer.

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“It will just give him a couple of days at home really. It’s always a challenge with the schedule as it is, but David is really keen to play as captain. So we’ll give him a couple of days off and get him to New Zealand the day before the game,” cricket.com.au quoted Lehmann, as saying.

While Warner will join the squad just a day prior to the game, the remainder of the T20I squad will head to New Zealand on Tuesday.

Lehmann though insisted that he is not worried about Warner’s recent slump, but admitted the long campaign has taken a toll on his performance at the crease.

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“He’d obviously like some more runs but he’s been fantastic in the leadership role with the young guys. He’s been training hard ... there’s no dramas at the moment,” the coach said.

Warner, who had averaged 14.60 during the five-match ODI series against England, has struggled in the T20I tri-series so far having notched scores of six, four and two so far.

Despite the same, Australia has managed to book its place in the tri-series final with a comfortable seven-wicket win over England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Saturday.