Australia's David Warner can expect plenty of attention from fans of rival teams at the World Cup.
Australia's David Warner can expect plenty of attention from fans of rival teams at the World Cup.

‘Best I’ve ever seen him bat’: Brett Lee on Warner

DAVID Warner put the fear in bowlers before his ball-tampering suspension, but things have changed - he's even better, Brett Lee says.

Few people have watched Warner's return to competitive cricket closer than Australia legend Lee, who spent several weeks analysing the opener in the Indian Premier League.

Warner set it alight for Sunrisers Hyderabad, top-scoring in the competition with 692 runs at 69.20.

Next in his sights is the World Cup in England, where Lee believes Warner will beat players such as Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle to be named Player of the Tournament.

"(He) looks hungry - batting the best I've ever seen him bat," Lee told foxsports.com.au at the SCG on Tuesday.

Lee said he saw in the IPL a different David Warner to the one who dominated for Australia prior to last March's Cape Town fiasco.

Speaking of watching Warner in the IPL, Lee added: "It was a more - I use the word 'hungry' because you can see it in his eyes and the shots he played."

Warner married power with control at the tournament, something he was occasionally criticised of failing to do before his suspension.

"He wasn't lose in his batting. He wasn't throwing his wicket away," the Fox Cricket commentator said.

"Warner was probably targeted before through the press about getting a good 30 or 40 and then throwing away a potential hundred. But he did not do that."

Lee, right, believes Warner, left, will be named player of the tournament at the 2019 World Cup. Picture: Getty Images
Lee, right, believes Warner, left, will be named player of the tournament at the 2019 World Cup. Picture: Getty Images

But that's not where the improvements end, according to Lee.

"He ran - he looked fit," Lee added. "Forty-three degrees in Hyderabad, I was watching him in one of the play-offs, and he ran, and ran, and ran. To me, that's a sign of being hungry.

"We can all stand there and hit sixes but when you've got to work hard for your runs ... I'm going to put him in for the most amount of runs (at the World Cup)."

Warner is expected to open the batting for Australia at the tournament, where he play in a ODI for the first time since January 2018.

He will resume his 50-over career with 4343 ODI runs at 43.43 and 14 centuries to his name.

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