Prior to the milestone 100th Test, Warner promises to perform at his peak
David Warner has pledged to go back in time on the eve of his 100th Test in an effort to break his three-year dry spell in Test cricket ahead of a vital year for Australia’s Test team.
With his achievement in mind, Warner took a moment to reflect on how he got there and what made him the player he is.
He is just 78 runs away from reaching 8000 Test runs, and only four openers in history have amassed more test hundreds than his 24. He has not, however, scored triple digits in a Test match since January 2020.
With just two days left till his historic match, David Warner has vowed to continue playing as he did in the past as he goes after that elusive Test century.
“I know when I’m at my best, I’m taking the bowlers on,”Warner said on Saturday.
“It goes well and it flows with the team and the guy at the other end. Now I’ve probably gone a bit more responsible and tried to put the team into a good position without playing a bit rash.
“If anything I can probably be a bit more aggressive and go back to the older me, take them on a little bit more. But I think that also is dictated from what wickets you are getting.
“You don’t want to have a dig at the curators, but the last two years our wickets have been green. If I go out there play a cover drive and nick one, you guys will have a feeding frenzy.
“But now I’m in a good position and I’m nicking off, that’s the nature of the beast. This might be a wicket where I can go out and play like the old me. So you have to adapt to those conditions. That’s what I’ve been doing the last 18 months.”
Warner’s assertion that he has grown more cautious is supported by the fact that he has struck out more regularly over the last three years. It has dropped to 57.21 from his astounding career rate of 71.18. But the runs are what really worry me.
In his previous 27 innings and 15 Tests, he has only averaged 26.07 and scored just four half-centuries. His chances are slimmer in 2022. He hasn’t scored fifty runs in any of his last ten Test innings.
Warner’s claim that he has to be more aggressive doesn’t really hold up when compared to some of his dismissals during the West Indies series, where he was out driving powerfully away from his body in three of his four innings.
But he claims that, either technically or in terms of his capacity for decision-making, he was more out of luck than out of shape.
“You look at some of the chop-ons and I’ve been in great positions when I’ve been nicked off,” Warner said. So there’s nothing you can actually do about that. That’s what happens in the game of cricket, it ebbs and flows.
“People were writing me off in that one-day game here and I went out and scored a hundred on a pretty dicey wicket.
“It is about making runs. You’re never out of form. They’re not the words that I use and they’re definitely not used in our change rooms. It’s about to run out. And for me, I’ve got those starts but I keep having a little bit of misfortune but at the end of the day it comes around and when it comes around it comes around fast.”
Warner is confident that it will happen frequently on Boxing Day against a well-known foe. He celebrated his 100th Test this past week, which recalled to mind some of his standout South African performances, particularly his spectacular 2014 tour, which featured three centuries against a top-notch defence.
Warner is unconcerned despite South Africa’s current offensive’s intention to psychologically harm him.
“I think if you look at the attacks that I’ve faced over my career, I wake up every day going into the nets facing the best attack in the world,”
“I’ve faced guys that bowl 145kph every training session. So it’s not different for me. Am I scared of going in those nets? 100% I’m scared. Going into the nets and facing those guys for the last decade has been a challenge in itself.
“But going out there and knowing that I’ve put numbers on the board against some of the great attacks that South Africa has produced, they stay with me when I go out there. You speak about Cape Town, that was probably my best whole batting performance from the batting perspective and a lot of good things happened to me when I played against the South African attack.
“For me, it’s about as I said, come out here with a positive mindset and hopefully I’ll keep replicating that.”