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Clarke gives Warner the freedom to go for big hits

Gros Islet: Australian skipper Michael Clarke has given a free hand to opener David Warner to go for the big shots whenever he likes in the ongoing World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.

Australia play their first match against defending champions Pakistan Sunday. Clarke is banking on in-form Warner, the leading scorer in Twenty20 internationals in 2010, to blast Australia into a winning position inside six overs.

Warner has already shown that he has warmed up to the challenge, with scores of 72 from 49 balls and 51 off 41 deliveries in Australia’s warm-up matches against Zimbabwe and Windward Islands.

“He’s the type of guy that sees it and hits it and he’s full of confidence,” Clarke was quoted as saying in The Age. “He plays a huge part, like Matty Hayden used to for us.

“Within six overs, we can have a real firm grip on the game if Davey goes off. He takes a lot of risks and there are times when he doesn’t perform.

“He’s a huge part of our team and I’m trying to give him the freedom to do exactly what he’s done in the last two games.

“To walk out, see the ball and hit the ball. Not be too concerned if he misses out a couple of times, just keep playing his way. He’s a matchwinner.”

Clarke says Warner and his opening partner Shane Watson can take Australia towards a winning total against a spin-heavy Pakistan attack.

“If we can build an innings in that first eight to ten overs, we’ve got so much strike power even down the bottom of the order. Mitch Johnson, Steve Smith,” Clarke said. “All these guys can clear the fence quite easily.”

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