David Warner with regular captain Steve Smith.
David Warner with regular captain Steve Smith.

‘It’s up to Steve’: Warner on T20 captaincy hopes

DAVID Warner has Australia on the verge of becoming the world's No.1 ranked Twenty20 team but says he hasn't spoken to Steve Smith about taking over as the full-time captain.

Warner's success with the T20 side during Smith's absence has become a topic of intrigue as Australia prepare to face New Zealand in Wednesday night's tri- series final in Auckland.

The stand-in skipper led his side to a record T20 international run chase against the Black Caps on Friday night and has earned strong praise for his calmness on the field.

Victory at Eden Park will propel Australia to No.1 in the T20 rankings, having started the series ranked seventh.

But Warner says it's up to Smith, who admitted to being burnt out after a gruelling summer, to decide if he wants to continue leading Australia in all three formats.

"At the end of the day, it's up to Steve," Warner told reporters on Tuesday. "If he thinks his workloads are too high and he doesn't feel like he can do that, I'm sure he'll put his hand up and step aside.

"We spoke about one of us in the leadership group staying back and leading the (T20) team, and obviously I put my hand up for that.

"It's been fantastic. A few of us were mentally cooked after the (Ashes) Test series and it's just great for those guys to go over to South Africa ... and inject a lot of younger guys and guys who are in form (into the T20 side)."

Australia has won all four of its matches in the tri-series.
Australia has won all four of its matches in the tri-series.

Warner's chief concern for now is figuring out his plan of attack for postage stamp-sized Eden Park, where 32 sixes were crunched across 38.5 overs on Friday night.

Both sides went after the ground's notoriously short straight boundaries, making it a challenge to set the right fields.

"You probably have to have obscure fields," Warner said.

"You've just got to find a way to get one or two wickets in the first six (overs), it's as simple as that."

The pitch prepared for Friday night's game will again be used in the final, potentially giving the spinners a little extra to work with if Tuesday's forecast rain holds off.

This could bring legspinner Adam Zampa into the selection mix with Warner confirming that it was an option to play both Zampa and left-arm tweaker Ashton Agar.

"The other day it looked a little bit drier than game day," Warner said.

"There's obviously a bit of weather around. We'll probably get a look at it tonight hopefully, if the weather holds off."


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