(Reuters) – Australian batsman David Warner will head to the World Cup in red hot form after signing off from the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a 56-ball 81 for Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday.
Warner’s eighth half-century in 12 matches took his tally this season to a league-high 692 runs and helped fourth-placed Sunrisers stay in contention for a playoff spot with a 45-run home victory over Kings XI Punjab.
The 32-year-old, who returned to the game after his 12-month ball-tampering ban ended last month, has also scored a century in the tournament and said he was delighted to be among the runs ahead of the World Cup starting in England and Wales on May 30.
“It’s great to get out there and do your job properly… I’m just glad I can put some runs on the board,” man-of-the-match Warner said during the post-match presentation ceremony.
The left-handed opener said he was a more developed batsman having worked on his skills during his time away.
“I think it goes back to being still as a batsman. I have the tendency to move around a little bit if I get one or two dots on me. I get a rush of blood,” he said.
“I’ve had a lot of time off to work harder at my game. I put the bat down for a good 16-18 weeks and worked hard at being the best dad I could and the best husband and I don’t know, it’s worked for me.”
Warner will return home this week to begin preparations for the World Cup where five-times champions Australia will look to defend their crown.
“We’re the reigning champions so for us it’s going out there and backing our ability… I’m looking forward to that and this is a great stepping stone,” Warner added.
“This World Cup, you’ll see some high scores. For a batter hopefully the ball isn’t swinging too much. Playing in England, they’re obviously a fantastic team.”
Australia face Afghanistan on June 1 in their tournament opener at Bristol.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)