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Smith, Warner’s versatility a T20 weapon

By AAP Newswire

Steve Smith and David Warner's ability to continue finding new gears shows just how dangerous Australia's batting line-up could be at the T20 World Cup.

The pair played a starring role as Australia ripped through a lacklustre South Africa in Cape Town to win by 97 runs and claim the T20 series 2-1.

Warner's 120-run opening partnership with Aaron Finch ensured the Proteas were on the back foot from the start at Newlands.

Sensing the need to apply pressure on a pitch that would likely get harder to bat on, the pair raced to 0-75 off the powerplay.

By the time Warner departed on 57, the run rate was already exceeding 10 an over.

Finch said an underrated part of Warner's game was the T20 veteran's ability to plan for and adapt to different match scenarios.

"Probably from his younger days playing T20s when it was all brute force, I think the way that he goes about thinking through his innings, planning his innings pre-game but then also adapting - it's extraordinary," Finch said.

"To sit down and talk with him about plans and how we're going to go about it at the top of the order - which very rarely works the way that you want it to work - his attention to detail and his planning is unbelievable and as good as anyone I've played with."

Smith played a similarly important role in a retooled line-up, coming in at No.5 instead of his customary No.3 position.

With less than five overs remaining by the time he walked out, Smith had a licence to thrill.

And he didn't disappoint, helping himself to 20 runs, including two sixes, off the final over from paceman Anrich Nortje.

"What's changed slightly in his game is he's probably got a little bit more freedom to play the shots," Finch said.

"That's been a huge difference to his game.

"Teams used to think they could just squeeze him, he wouldn't hurt you too much at the back end but to develop all the shots that he's got now around the ground, he's a super important player to us and he's bloody impressive to watch."