Match-winner Warner braced for middle-order role in India


Man-of-the-match David Warner said he is happy to bat wherever as the ICC World Twenty20 looms after blasting Australia to a remarkable five-wicket victory against South Africa.

Accustomed to life as an opener, Warner proved his worth in the middle order with 77 off 40 deliveries as Australia claimed a stunning final-ball win in Johannesburg on Sunday.

With Aaron Finch, Shane Watson and captain Steve Smith batting above him and chasing down South Africa's imposing total of 204-7, Warner hit six fours and five sixes before Mitchell Marsh took two runs off the last delivery to level the three-game T20 series.

Watson opened the batting in place of Usman Khawaja and Warner anticipates he will stay in the middle-order for the World T20, which gets underway in India on Tuesday.

"I've done it [bat at number four] before in IPL," Warner said. "It's whatever is in the best interests of the team.

"I'm pretty flexible. I don't say to Steve 'I want to bat at the top'.

"It's something where if I'm helping the team in any way, shape or form then I'm all ears for that.

"It's one of those things where you have to try and mix up the middle, you need a left-hander somewhere in the middle and fortunately enough I can play that role.

"I'll have to speak to Steve, but this is preparation for the [T20] World Cup so I'm assuming I'll be placed there."

Warner was not alone in his blistering exploits in the second of three T20s against the Proteas, with Glenn Maxwell making 75 runs from just 43 balls.

The pair put on 161 from 13.1 overs in a devastating display of batting, a partnership which was the fourth-highest stand in T20 internationals and Australia's best in the format.

"It's always great batting with 'Maxi'," Warner added after Australia bounced back from the three-wicket loss in Durban.

"He's not really one where you need to go down and say anything to him.

"He makes his mind up for himself and that's the way he plays when he's at his best.

"There were a couple of times there where I said to him 'just keep bat on ball' - he likes to play his little reverse lap - but that's just him, that's how it is.

"Credit to him, without his dig we wouldn't be in that position [to win the game]."