Cricket fans have been left frustrated after Steve Smith and David Warner were surprisingly handed the ball to bowl and were blasted all over the stadium in Australia's victory over Pakistan ahead of the World Cup. Australia will head into their opening One Day International World Cup match against India after two decent performances with Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green finding form with the bat.
However, it was the bizarre decision to give Smith and Warner a bowling spell that left the cricket world scratching their heads. Captain Pat Cummins was clearly ready to give his front line bowlers a rest with Australia playing their first World Cup match in four days against India. This resulted in him tossing the ball to Smith and Warner.
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The opening batter was particularly expensive with his two overs of leg-spin going for 41 runs. Warner hadn't bowled since 2012 and many Aussie fans won't expect him to bowl again in the World Cup. Warner went for 16 off his first over and followed that up with 25 runs off his second.
Smith bowled four overs for 40 runs, while Marnus Labuschagne chipped in with 8.4 overs for 78 runs. Although Labuschagne contributed with three wickets to the victory. Cummins admitted the game was about getting everyone involved to prepare for their opening match.
"We're looking in better frame. Mitchell Marsh bowled well, same with Maxwell and Mitchell Starc," Cummins said after the match. "Just about everyone contributed in the middle, Green and Inglis were brilliant at the end."
While the game was treated as a warm-up, many cricket fans were left frustrated at the decision. Pakistan fans labelled the game as a 'mockery', while others pleaded for Warner and Smith to not bowl in a competitive match again.
Warm up matches have been nothing less than a mockery of the world cup. Pakistan is leading the way by playing nonsensical Cricket.
David Warner and Steve Smith are bowling and still AUS wins. It's an absolute mockery of the Pak team. They seem to be more interested in making…
— Smit Shah 🇮🇳 (@shahsmit) October 3, 2023
— Josh Schönafinger (@joshschon) October 3, 2023
I lost it at David Warner bowling 🤣😭 pic.twitter.com/vvizrMDydL
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) October 3, 2023
WTF THEY ARE MAKING WARNER BOWL 😭 pic.twitter.com/080XXx1S2R
— umar 🧋 (@FanOfBilalKhan) October 3, 2023
Warner please never ever bowl again in your life
— Bakkar (@BakkarMaybe) October 3, 2023
Why are they even playing this game if they want to bowl Smith and warner 🤦♂️
— Akshay (@viratkohliofc) October 3, 2023
— TROLL PAKISTAN CRICKET (@trollpakistanii) October 3, 2023
After posting 7-351, Australia's mix of part-time bowling and frontliners allowed Pakistan to blast 337 before they were all out at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday AEST. World No.1 batter Babar Azam, who came in at No.6, stroked a classy 90 after Pakistan's top three - Fakhar Zaman (22), Imam-ul-Haq (16) and Abdullah Shafique (12) - failed to fire.
Glenn Maxwell finds form ahead of World Cup
Maxwell was one of the shining lights in the warm-up match having blasted 77 from 71 balls. Green's half-century also suggests he might be selected in front of Marcus Stoinis who was absent from the line-up.
“The end of this game is probably one everyone’s been looking forward to the most and now our World Cup can finally start,” Maxwell said after the match. Maxwell has also been bowling well since his return to the green and gold. The allrounder took one wicket off eight overs with an economy of 4.25.
And he was looking forward to contributing with the ball throughout the World Cup in India. “The ball’s coming out as well as it ever has,” Maxwell told reporters. “I’ve just got a really nice clarity about how it’s coming out and what I need to do.”
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