India in Australia 2011-12 January 16, 2012

Warner no shooting star

27

David Warner has won two Man of the Match awards from his first five Tests, but he still craves greater consistency as Australia's opener in the long format. Warner's 180 at the WACA was easily the standout performance on a pitch that proved difficult for the batsmen, and more than any other player he was responsible for Australia's innings victory.

In Hobart last month, Warner was a controversial selection as Man of the Match as the award was voted for by Channel Nine viewers, despite the fact that Doug Bracewell had bowled New Zealand to a historic victory and was regarded by most experts as clearly the best afield. There was no question about Warner's award on this occasion, although a case could have been mounted for Ben Hilfenhaus, who took eight wickets.

Two centuries from his first five Tests is a promising start, but Warner is also aware that as Test batsman, the gaps between his best and worst cannot be allowed to grow too much. So far in his Test career, Warner has posted scores of 3, 12 not out, 15, 123 not out, 37, 5, 8 and 180.

"I've always said I'd like to be more consistent in all three forms that I'm playing," Warner said. "You might get runs today and miss out in the next game but that's cricket. I'll keep working hard and backing myself. Hopefully this wasn't a one-off thing. It was my second Test hundred. I showed that I can play maturely as well in difficult situations [in Hobart]. Hopefully I can keep continuing with my form."

Warner has come a long way from the man who burst on to the international scene as a Twenty20 specialist with a brutal 89 against South Africa three years ago, before he had even made his first-class debut. By the end of last summer, Warner had played only seven Sheffield Shield matches and found it hard to force his way into the New South Wales line-up.

"The frustration was always there, with New South Wales not giving me an opportunity," he said. "But at the end of the day there were blokes ahead of me and I had to go out and score runs in grade cricket and 2nd XI cricket and make my way into the team.

"The only way to do that was weight of runs. Fortunately I did that and now I'm in a good headspace. I'm really enjoying my cricket at the moment. Being part of the Test team, we're going fantastic at the moment and I couldn't be any happier."

His progression has impressed the Test captain Michael Clarke, who is also one of the selectors who gave Warner a chance in the baggy green. Clarke believes Warner's career should highlight to every young cricketer that Twenty20 is not the only option.

"To see a kid who everybody thought was just a Twenty20 player 12 months ago walk out and bat exactly the same, but wearing the baggy green, playing in his whites ... I've said to Davey for a long time now there's no reason he can't have success in any form of the game, with the amount of talent he's got," Clarke said. "It shows young kids out there today that whether it's Twenty20 cricket, one-day cricket or Test cricket, if you can play one form, you can play all three forms. That's really exciting for the game."

Over the past three Tests, Warner has been partnered at the top of the order by a much more understated opener, Ed Cowan. Their styles complement each other and at the WACA, that paid off as they put on 214 for the first wicket, just the second double-century opening stand for Australia since the end of the Hayden-Langer era.

Warner's 180 and Cowan's 74 were both their best Test scores, the first time since the Trent Bridge Ashes Test of 1989 that both Australian openers had bettered their highest Test scores in the same innings. Warner said working with Cowan was a pleasure.

"I think it's great," he said. "We're gelling together. As people have said, we're an odd couple. But when we're out there, we keep each other going. We're always talking to each other every ball. I know Ed's game, I know where his release shots are to get off strike when difficult periods are happening.

"It's the same with me. When he thinks I'm playing too loose, he'll come down to me and keep a check and say you've got to keep playing straight. I respect that. I'll always listen to my partner. Hopefully we can keep continuing this."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Barnesy4444 on January 18, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    Many are saying Hughes was 'found out' in England. This is complete rubbish. 3 innings (one of which wasn't out), with a good 37 and two low scores is hardly "found out". He was dropped prematurely by a poor selection panel who messed with the mind, technique and confidence of the young 20 year old.

  • Gizza on January 17, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    @freo75, Well Hughes wasn't found out by SA in SA which is normally a tough place to bat. He was only found out later against England. Warner while aggressive doesn't seem to have any big technical weakness unlike Hughes at the moment. Having said that, after another 10 tests bowlers from all over the world will try to find a pattern with the way he gets out (looking at videos). If Warner can get through that tricky phase where the bowlers are bowling to his weak spots he will be a force to reckoned with for the rest of his career.

  • zenboomerang on January 17, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    Its early days for Warner & Cowan - lets just give them encouragement & see how they do... Move Watson down to no.6 or 7 where he wont run out his opening partner - he even did it to Warner in a ODI... Can't think of an opener Watson hasn't run out - no idea at all... Still a handy bowler though his batting has gone down the gurgler in the last 12 months...

  • Meety on January 17, 2012, 2:50 GMT

    @ landl47 - nice to pick one innings out of 8! @ tearsinblue - that may or may not be true, but pls understand that the biggest criticism of Warner coming into the Oz side is that most of his success has been in India & Zimbabwe! So I don't think he'll be too daunted by playing in India, bear in mind too that grounds are smaller so his mishits will still go 10 rows back! @Anthony Dzioba - the key to Warner's potential is his short back lift, he seems to be able decide what to do very late. This could be very helpful in seaming conditions (like Hobart 2nd Test) & was helpful at the WACA. He has the ability to force good bowlers to change their plans AND that is a very good talent to have! @ AbdullahShaikh - yes true, but the article is not about Sehwag, who quite honestly doesn't look like he'd be able to play Grade cricket in Oz atm. So you are harking back to past glories there matey!!!!

  • Barnesy4444 on January 17, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    I can see Australia having the makings of another great test team in a couple of years. With Warner, Hughes (when he finds his mojo again), Watson, Clarke, Cummins, Pattinson, Lyon, Hilfy. A good support team, selectors, bowling coach, Rod Marsh etc.

  • notvery on January 16, 2012, 23:16 GMT

    Obviously a great talent. so far he has faced an average attack (NZ) and a really really poor attack that is barely above park cricket standards (India) will be interesting to see how he goes against the current Eng, SA, Pak bowlers. im sure he will score runs against them but will be harder and will prove how capable his technique is.

  • TrumperLives on January 16, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    Just a moment, you can't win a Test Match unless you take 20 wickets. Australia's big problems have been the inability to take 20 wickets in a match. Remember, Hilfenhaus took 8 wickets for the match, and the bowlers set this win up in the first innings. While it was a great innings from Warner, let's not get carried away. Nemisis usually follows Hubris.

  • bumsonseats on January 16, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    dont try and compare warner with hughes. warner is alot more correct, and most of his shots are good to the eye. but in tests he will have to curb some of the more flamboyant shots. but on his day he could get you a sehwag style 100 before lunch. but at the end of the day its how many poor knocks between his good ones. dpk

  • Marcio on January 16, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    Players of this natural ability don't come along very often. What is best about Warner is that he is incredibly keen to learn, and listens intently to others. As usual @landl47 bashes any Aussie player, but Warner's defense is excellent. He just has to learn to move his feet with some of the big shots outside off, early in his innings. His fielding is as good as having an extra bowler in the team! The best fielder in international cricket for years.

  • on January 16, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    Interesting to see the opening partnership of Hughes and Watson earmarked by the former selectors has returned results reflecting their tenure as a whole. Hughes has been dropped indefinitely and Watson will in all likelihood return to the middle order. Now with a fresh selection panel and an even fresher opening partnership, it looks like we might be on to something good here. I just hope these two are given enough time to prove themselves and not chopped and changed when things aren't going so well (which will inevitably happen). Long live Test Cricket I'd say!

  • Barnesy4444 on January 18, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    Many are saying Hughes was 'found out' in England. This is complete rubbish. 3 innings (one of which wasn't out), with a good 37 and two low scores is hardly "found out". He was dropped prematurely by a poor selection panel who messed with the mind, technique and confidence of the young 20 year old.

  • Gizza on January 17, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    @freo75, Well Hughes wasn't found out by SA in SA which is normally a tough place to bat. He was only found out later against England. Warner while aggressive doesn't seem to have any big technical weakness unlike Hughes at the moment. Having said that, after another 10 tests bowlers from all over the world will try to find a pattern with the way he gets out (looking at videos). If Warner can get through that tricky phase where the bowlers are bowling to his weak spots he will be a force to reckoned with for the rest of his career.

  • zenboomerang on January 17, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    Its early days for Warner & Cowan - lets just give them encouragement & see how they do... Move Watson down to no.6 or 7 where he wont run out his opening partner - he even did it to Warner in a ODI... Can't think of an opener Watson hasn't run out - no idea at all... Still a handy bowler though his batting has gone down the gurgler in the last 12 months...

  • Meety on January 17, 2012, 2:50 GMT

    @ landl47 - nice to pick one innings out of 8! @ tearsinblue - that may or may not be true, but pls understand that the biggest criticism of Warner coming into the Oz side is that most of his success has been in India & Zimbabwe! So I don't think he'll be too daunted by playing in India, bear in mind too that grounds are smaller so his mishits will still go 10 rows back! @Anthony Dzioba - the key to Warner's potential is his short back lift, he seems to be able decide what to do very late. This could be very helpful in seaming conditions (like Hobart 2nd Test) & was helpful at the WACA. He has the ability to force good bowlers to change their plans AND that is a very good talent to have! @ AbdullahShaikh - yes true, but the article is not about Sehwag, who quite honestly doesn't look like he'd be able to play Grade cricket in Oz atm. So you are harking back to past glories there matey!!!!

  • Barnesy4444 on January 17, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    I can see Australia having the makings of another great test team in a couple of years. With Warner, Hughes (when he finds his mojo again), Watson, Clarke, Cummins, Pattinson, Lyon, Hilfy. A good support team, selectors, bowling coach, Rod Marsh etc.

  • notvery on January 16, 2012, 23:16 GMT

    Obviously a great talent. so far he has faced an average attack (NZ) and a really really poor attack that is barely above park cricket standards (India) will be interesting to see how he goes against the current Eng, SA, Pak bowlers. im sure he will score runs against them but will be harder and will prove how capable his technique is.

  • TrumperLives on January 16, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    Just a moment, you can't win a Test Match unless you take 20 wickets. Australia's big problems have been the inability to take 20 wickets in a match. Remember, Hilfenhaus took 8 wickets for the match, and the bowlers set this win up in the first innings. While it was a great innings from Warner, let's not get carried away. Nemisis usually follows Hubris.

  • bumsonseats on January 16, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    dont try and compare warner with hughes. warner is alot more correct, and most of his shots are good to the eye. but in tests he will have to curb some of the more flamboyant shots. but on his day he could get you a sehwag style 100 before lunch. but at the end of the day its how many poor knocks between his good ones. dpk

  • Marcio on January 16, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    Players of this natural ability don't come along very often. What is best about Warner is that he is incredibly keen to learn, and listens intently to others. As usual @landl47 bashes any Aussie player, but Warner's defense is excellent. He just has to learn to move his feet with some of the big shots outside off, early in his innings. His fielding is as good as having an extra bowler in the team! The best fielder in international cricket for years.

  • on January 16, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    Interesting to see the opening partnership of Hughes and Watson earmarked by the former selectors has returned results reflecting their tenure as a whole. Hughes has been dropped indefinitely and Watson will in all likelihood return to the middle order. Now with a fresh selection panel and an even fresher opening partnership, it looks like we might be on to something good here. I just hope these two are given enough time to prove themselves and not chopped and changed when things aren't going so well (which will inevitably happen). Long live Test Cricket I'd say!

  • mondotv on January 16, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    Personally I think Dave Warner is the real deal.. sure he'll get out to the odd swinging delivery; all openers do, but he'll also send many bowlers into a tailspin and many Captains on to the defensive too early. In the current English attack I've seen Anderson and co go the distance before and I've seen Dale Steyn's head go down. Warner is compact, strong, plays strongly down the ground and square of the wicket both sides and on a good deck he'll make you pay and even on a mediocre deck like Hobart it is the guys who play their shots who often do best. To compare him with Hayden is just silly - Hayden charged down the pitch and dominated bowlers with his physical presence, but had an awesome defence to go with it. Warner plays more like Gilchrist - sets a solid base and relies on his eye and power to intimidate bowlers. I would say that Warner is a better leaver than Gilchrist who tried to hit everything when he was in the mood and often got out trying to hit wides.

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 16, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    Yeah sure, our own Viru has done more of these feats. Viru still has an average of more that 50 after all these years. Warner has still a long way to go.

  • on January 16, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    Hopefully they can! I'll be honest, I was one of the biggest Warner doubters and dislikes around. I thought he had no class or style. But actually paying attention to the way he follows the ball every single time, he has the potential to be brilliant. The way he bustles, he reminds me of Mathew Hayden. He just needs to sort out his early nerves and stop throwing away his wicket early. I don't think I've seen good bowling get him out yet, just loose shots.

  • on January 16, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    Amzing skill Warner! Its really exciting to see you in the "whites"... May you inspire someone from India soon :)

  • freo75 on January 16, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    It will be interesting to see how Warner performs against a quality attack. No disrespect intended but this innings was nothing more than a slog against India's trundlers who did not seem to be that interested. I suspect he is going to get found out against SA or England (much in the same way as Phil Hughes was built up by the Australian media only to fail miserably).

  • on January 16, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    Warner is going to go a long way in his career. Stay true to your batting style!

  • JesseChuck on January 16, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    That is great david warner and cowen

  • tearsinblue on January 16, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    As much as I enjoyed David Warner's innings, I am not convinced that he will be a force to reckon with...not just yet. The bounce and pace suited him in WACA, but he will be tested with good swing and definitely on a spinning pitch in India. Let's wait and see...

  • Meety on January 16, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    2 Tons in 5 Tests (albeit ONLY 5 tests) is a world class strike rate. If Cowan can noodle the solid 50s & occasional tons to iron out Warner's ups & downs, we'll be in a very handy position. Whether all this is just a spurt or Shooting Star is anybody's guess, but he has shown consistant improvement in his FC results for a year now. Greg Chappell (& Sehwag) deserve some credit for this!

  • nskaile on January 16, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    I see another M. Hayden in the making!

  • bipulkumar on January 16, 2012, 3:58 GMT

    For great consistency Australia needs to play India all the time. Not quite possible. Warner couldn't score a triple century in the last test. He must improve his batting technique. Others couldn't even score a century, that shows how poor batting line Australians have at the moment. They must remember they are playing against Indians.

  • landl47 on January 16, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    If Warner wants to be more consistent, he'll have to grow a defence. 8 and out in the first over, as he did at Sydney, isn't going to make him consistent.

  • on January 16, 2012, 3:43 GMT

    Warner, you're averaging 63. Consistancey is obviously not your problem.

  • jonesy2 on January 16, 2012, 3:20 GMT

    every athete searches for consistency david. youre a superstar

  • farkin on January 16, 2012, 3:20 GMT

    Warner no shooting star no he is a shotgun batsman 3, 12 not out, 15, 123 not out, 37, 5, 8 and 180.

  • RNikh on January 16, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    As I have said a million times before, this little Australian has everything to be a future great, he averages already a magnificent 63.83, including a couple of big hundreds on tough pitches! He will for sure go real far!

  • donda on January 16, 2012, 3:14 GMT

    Man o man, just play every form of cricket, you are real entertainer , don't think about batting too much. You are too good of a talent already, it's just to go there and do it.

    Warner just played two of the most entertaining innings in just 5 test matches. If he plays 50 test matches, that means 20 great innings. That will be great entertainment for whole cricket fans.

    Keep on entertaining and don't worry about results. Just do it the way you like it.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • donda on January 16, 2012, 3:14 GMT

    Man o man, just play every form of cricket, you are real entertainer , don't think about batting too much. You are too good of a talent already, it's just to go there and do it.

    Warner just played two of the most entertaining innings in just 5 test matches. If he plays 50 test matches, that means 20 great innings. That will be great entertainment for whole cricket fans.

    Keep on entertaining and don't worry about results. Just do it the way you like it.

  • RNikh on January 16, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    As I have said a million times before, this little Australian has everything to be a future great, he averages already a magnificent 63.83, including a couple of big hundreds on tough pitches! He will for sure go real far!

  • farkin on January 16, 2012, 3:20 GMT

    Warner no shooting star no he is a shotgun batsman 3, 12 not out, 15, 123 not out, 37, 5, 8 and 180.

  • jonesy2 on January 16, 2012, 3:20 GMT

    every athete searches for consistency david. youre a superstar

  • on January 16, 2012, 3:43 GMT

    Warner, you're averaging 63. Consistancey is obviously not your problem.

  • landl47 on January 16, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    If Warner wants to be more consistent, he'll have to grow a defence. 8 and out in the first over, as he did at Sydney, isn't going to make him consistent.

  • bipulkumar on January 16, 2012, 3:58 GMT

    For great consistency Australia needs to play India all the time. Not quite possible. Warner couldn't score a triple century in the last test. He must improve his batting technique. Others couldn't even score a century, that shows how poor batting line Australians have at the moment. They must remember they are playing against Indians.

  • nskaile on January 16, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    I see another M. Hayden in the making!

  • Meety on January 16, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    2 Tons in 5 Tests (albeit ONLY 5 tests) is a world class strike rate. If Cowan can noodle the solid 50s & occasional tons to iron out Warner's ups & downs, we'll be in a very handy position. Whether all this is just a spurt or Shooting Star is anybody's guess, but he has shown consistant improvement in his FC results for a year now. Greg Chappell (& Sehwag) deserve some credit for this!

  • tearsinblue on January 16, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    As much as I enjoyed David Warner's innings, I am not convinced that he will be a force to reckon with...not just yet. The bounce and pace suited him in WACA, but he will be tested with good swing and definitely on a spinning pitch in India. Let's wait and see...