Bristol, June 2: David Warner said it was great to be back after marking his competitive international return with a man-of-the-match display in Australia's seven-wicket Cricket World Cup victory over Afghanistan.
Warner and Steve Smith represented their country in an official match on Saturday (June 1) for the first time since serving 12-month bans for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal that marred Australia's 2018 tour of South Africa.
Former skipper Smith contributed a catch and a run out in the field before adding 18 with the bat, but Warner made a more substantial impact, overcoming some early struggles to underpin a successful pursuit of 208 with 89 not out from 114 balls.
The opener acknowledged he had taken time to settle back into the rhythm of a 50-over fixture after playing so much Twenty20 cricket in his absence from international action.
"I was a little bit more relaxed when Finchy started going," said Warner at the post-match presentation, in reference to opening partner Aaron Finch thumping 66 from 49 deliveries.
"The way that I started - playing Twenty20 cricket over the last 12 to 14 months hasn't really moved my feet at all. To get back into a rhythm out there and start moving in the right direction, getting my head over the ball, it was just great to get out there and do that.
" just a great win, a good start for us and we've got to keep this ball rolling. There's a great energy and a great buzz about this team at the moment."
Finch hailed Warner's efforts in digging deep when he was not at his best.
"He was struggling to time the ball, his feet weren't really going, so the fact that he kept hanging in there and hanging in there, you always have to remember that it's gonna be harder for a new batter to come in," said Australia's captain.
"So that was great, for him to kick on and do that job really well for us and be not out at the end."
Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib said of Australia: "They are a champion side, so you can't have any mistakes against them. We didn't have a good start."