Victoria v NSW, Sheffield Shield, Melbourne November 7, 2013

Warner and Smith warm up for Test with tons

ESPNcricinfo staff

New South Wales 353 (Smith 107, Warner 104, Hastings 5-61) lead Victoria 236 by 117 runs

David Warner confirmed himself as a certain starter for the opening Ashes Test with a dynamic century on the second day against Victoria at the MCG. Warner and fellow Test incumbent Steven Smith both scored hundreds as New South Wales comfortably claimed first-innings points, but it wasn't such a good day for baggy-green aspirant Fawad Ahmed, who struggled in taking 1 for 91 from 21 overs.

Warner was one of the disappointments of the Ashes tour of England for the Australians, averaging 23 in his three appearances, but three hundreds in the Ryobi Cup last month suggested he was starting to see the ball a little better. Red-ball form was what the selectors were most keen to see from Warner, who began briskly on the second morning against Victoria and struck 16 boundaries in his innings of 104 from 87 deliveries.

Warner found his runs all around the ground and bettered the score of his Test opening partner Chris Rogers, who on the previous day had ground out 88 for Victoria. The runs kept flowing for Australia's Test cricketers after Warner pulled a catch to wide mid-on off Scott Boland, as Smith compiled a classy 107 from 169 deliveries.

A centurion in the final Ashes Test at The Oval and the incumbent No.5 in the national side, Smith struck 13 fours and two sixes in his impressive innings before he was caught off the bowling of John Hastings, who finished with five wickets. Michael Clarke also spent some time at the crease, scoring 43 and contributing to a 104-run third-wicket stand with Warner.

Hastings was the best of the bowlers, while Test spearhead Peter Siddle collected 2 for 66. The chances of Ahmed usurping Nathan Lyon in the Test outfit appear slim after Ahmed battled to find his rhythm, picking up only the wicket of Sean Abbott for 9. The Blues were dismissed just before stumps for 353, giving them a 117-run first-innings lead.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Graham on November 8, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    Front-Foot-Lunge; Warner "nicked-off" to ANderson once in his test career. I wouldn't have thought that was too familiar.

  • Bludging on November 8, 2013, 1:26 GMT

    Would have been a great day to be at the MCG yesterday. With the current rent a crowd generation you need fireworks, inflatable giants and pop music blaring to get their attention.

  • j on November 7, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    The sight of Warner nicking-off to Anderson is one well knownto all cricket fans. He's got more chance of a score on the flat Aus deck however, as the last Ashes proved, England are just a class apart from Australia, and over a five match series the better side often prevails. Warner's tendancy to edge any kind of top quality bowling means we should expect just a slight improvement on his average of 23 in the last Ashes.

  • James on November 7, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    BlueyCollar, Cook nearly got out about ten times when he scored 190 in one test in the second last Ashes series in Australia. He hit a simple catch off Beer a spinner! - when on 40-odd, but was called back for a no ball. He hit one straight to Hughes, but the umpires weren't sure he'd caught it cleanly - so he batted on. Even in Hobart the other day he and Carberry missed a whole heap of deliveries in the first few overs.

    So if you are going to go back and say that guys can't bat because they played a few bad shots, then nobody can bat. Warner has scored four centuries in the past month. Somehow I think he's a bit better than what you think.

  • Alex on November 7, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    There seems to be alot of hype around Ahmed - I don't see why. I have watched him a few times now and have not been overly impressed. He is a tidy Leggie for sure but I don't think his stuff is world class by any means. I don't think he warrents dropping Lyon. I think Lyon is going to give you more control and be of better support to our quick bowlers. Ahmed may realease the pressure valve just a little too much & I don't think he will get you more wickets.

  • Paulo on November 7, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    Both Warner and Smith are good batsmen. Smith's Oval hundred proved me wrong about him.

    1 Rogers 2 Warner 3 Watson 4 Clarke 5 Bailey 6Smith 7 Haddin plus Siddle and Johnson is a good batting line up compared to Trent Bridge. - Clarke, Rogers and Bailey the glue. Warner Watson and Smith the attackers. England will need to make sure our 3rd seamer turns up or aussies will attack.

  • wayne on November 7, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    Ah, the inevitable: if we want Warner in the side, we need to accept he's never going to be the most consistent of bats. Is it worth having him there because when he's hot, he can take the game away in a session? Hmmm...

  • Dummy4 on November 7, 2013, 20:49 GMT

    Fawad seriously needs to stop bowling poorly when he first starts bowling. He goes for like 5+ runs an over but then pulls it back to something respectable but this cant work all the time like in this game. He needs a long chat with Warne and hopefully he shall get inspired and knock loudly on the selectors doors.

  • Mick on November 7, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    The Vics bowled poorly to Warner. I am sure Broad and Anderson will not serve up that sort of trash in the Ashes. Despite the lack of quality of the bowling Warner was close to getting out half a dozen times before reaching 50. Similar to Warners test history he may make a big impact in one innings in a series but will fail in the others allowing the English quicks to get their tails up early and put undue pressure on the rest of the top and middle order. His runs in the last 6 weeks probably demand selection but he must bat at 6. Need stoicism and technique at the top.

  • Nicholas on November 7, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    @Mitty2 (post on November 7, 2013, 8:41 GMT): I know mate, but I just live in hope of you telling me "I told you so" instead of the other way around all the time. :-)

    @HatsforBats (post on November 7, 2013, 8:57 GMT): I know - tell me about it! What's even worse is that now there's a bit of moisture in the air and some cloud coverage, certain lanky bowlers might start 'appearing' to be performing very well, and get the nod for the actual tests ahead of the guys that would/will perform better in the actual test match conditions.

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