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

Warner and Smith warm up for Test with tons

ESPNcricinfo staff
29

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

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.

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  • Shaggy076 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.

  • Little_Aussie_Battler 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.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge 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.

  • TheBigBoodha 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.

  • alstar2281 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.

  • CodandChips 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.

  • smudgeon 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...

  • 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.

  • BlueyCollar 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.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK 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.

  • Shaggy076 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.

  • Little_Aussie_Battler 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.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge 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.

  • TheBigBoodha 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.

  • alstar2281 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.

  • CodandChips 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.

  • smudgeon 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...

  • 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.

  • BlueyCollar 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.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK 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.

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on November 7, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    Maybe not for Brisbane and Perth, but for other tests a good line up would be: Rogers, Warner, Clarke, Bailey, Smith, Haddin, Faulkner, SOK, Siddle, Harris Lyon

    I reckon the combined batting abilities of SOK and Faulkner would provide more runs than Watson, plus the combined bowling abilities of SOK and Faulkner are better than Johnson and Watson, these 2 also strengthen our tail and our batting depth and they also have great personal qualities and altituides toward the game.

  • millsy24 on November 7, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    Maroubra_Flyer I'm not sure how much game time they are going to get in Hobart with rain predicted on and off for the next 2 days. Would love to see Doolan get a bat and see how he goes against Anderson and Broad after his 130 odd the other day. I would be putting him in ahead of Bailey also. Bailey came in to bat yesterday, late in the afternoon when the bowlers were fairly tired after bowling on that wicket, and was able to score 30 odd runs. Came back to bat this morning with rested bowlers and didn't add to his score. Not so sure he would be better than Doolan with the red ball. I am also not sure how he plays spin if he were to get the no. 6 spot.

  • millsy24 on November 7, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    TheBigBoodha, not so sure that rhythm was the problem. Warner smacked him, as well as the pacebowlers, all around the ground. Then unfortunately for him he came up against two very good players of spin in Clarke and Smith and both went after him big time. I think he finished on 1/91 today off around 20 overs. He was also very expensive and wicketless in the 2nd innings of the game where he got the last 5 bats and 1 top order bat out. Not sure if it was who he was playing against today and how well they play spin or what the problem was.

  • TheBigBoodha on November 7, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    That's too bad about Ahmed, millsy24. He took a 6fa the other day. I wouldn't mind seeing either him or SOK in there along with Lyon - maybe in Sydney. Let's hope Ahmed can find his rhythm again.

  • TheBigBoodha on November 7, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    Azzzaman333, you sure as a harsh critic. Warner regularly scores big hundreds. In fact this is the first time I can ever remember him getting out just after making a ton. He just scored 138, 139 and 197 in the Ryobi cup. What more do you want?

  • on November 7, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    Warner, given time and freedom will be epic, just wait and see. I've been saying it for ages and will continue to.

  • Buckers97 on November 7, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    PICK O'KEEFE AS THE AUSSIE SPINNER!!! Look how many right handers there are in the England top 7. Look how many left handers. 2- Maybe! Pick O'keefe, see how he goes. He can't go worse than Doherty, Maxwell & Agar. And he can do better than Lyon. Good to see Warner in the runs

  • azzaman333 on November 7, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    I really want to see Warner not throw his wicket away when he's making a big score. He did it in the semi of the Ryobi Cup and did it again today. It's the difference between him being a good batsman and a great batsman, and with his talent he shouldn't be anything less than a great batsman.

  • PrasPunter on November 7, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    so there it is - Rogers, Warner, Watto, Pup, Bails, Smith, Haddin, Harris, Siddle, MJ, Lyon. Looks like this will be the most likely lineup for Brisbane, barring injuries. Ussie/Faulkner will be on standby for Watto.

  • Maroubra_Flyer on November 7, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    Well done Steve Smith, definitely Captain material. As Ponting said our most improved cricketer in the past 18 months and still only 24. Warner still too hit & miss for test cricket, too liable to get out early before taking the shine off the ball. However, he is in form and reminds me of Keith Stackpole, another aggressive opening bat. Warner, Smith, Rogers all getting runs & Clarke a handy warm up. Only need Watson to take up where he left off and Doolan another decent score in Hobart & our batting line up is sorted (Bailey if not). Johnson back to his best together with Siddle Harris & Lyon and we're starting to get a healthier line up. Still think England's experience in the clutches might see them get up 2-1, but this will be much closer than people think.

  • on November 7, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    I am sure warner and smith will be selected in ashes squad

  • stuartk319 on November 7, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    I've been saying "please don't pick Warner in the Test team" for a while now. I must admit this knock has proven me wrong. @ Dylan Young, good comments, if the batsmen carry their form into the Tests we could have an awesome Ashes series on our hands.

  • HatsforBats on November 7, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    @ R_U_4_REAL_NICK, you know what's even better news for us Australian fans?! Thanks to a dead pitch it looks like Carberry will get the opening slot! One-for-nothing and two plodders who just got worked over by Harris at the crease.

  • Mitty2 on November 7, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    RU4REAL, let me spell it out for you, again. He averages 50 in australia in tests compared to a miserable 25 average away. Has put in literally awesome performaces against India, NZ on a seamer where he carried his bat (havent seeny Young Eng player do that - although they arent in that position anywhere near as much us) and of course SA, who have double the attack Eng have. You keep on raving on about him being a short form specialist but obviously he's not after being dropped from the ODI side, working hard, and scoring a ton in his third FC innings back against a good attack. That means 4 centuries in three weeks. Sorry but I'm certain he'll score at least one ton against the Eng attack as once you get on top of broad and anderson things get v. easy. You rave on selection from FC form, which warner has, just too bad that carberry actually was selected from limited overs and will get in the gully for 0 every innings.

  • xtrafalgarx on November 7, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    @Nick: THis is his fourth hundred of the summer...It's not as if this Solitary knock has got him in, especially considering he is the incumbent.

  • on November 7, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Great to see Warner score big here -- it was a classy knock. He is a confidence player and should be raring to go for the summer Ashes now. Smith also looks to be a much improved player and is one of the best bats in the country now for sure. Clarke has had plenty of time in the middle... Chris Rogers also scored well in the first innings for Victoria... it is fantastic to see all of our Test players in form.

  • ShutTheGate on November 7, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Pretty good signs for the Aussies based on the batters scores.

    Warner - 104, Rogers - 88, Watson - DNB, Clarke - 43, Smith - 107, Bailey - 34

    Consistent so far. I can't wait to see how Doolan goes down in Hobart.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on November 7, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    Fantastic news for England fans! Even Australian fans had given up hope of Warner featuring in the Ashes after strings of failures in longer formats; but now one random knock (in Warner fashion) bolstered by good form in the shorter formats (where he belongs) has seen him gifted a place in the Ashes with ribbons on. Because there just ain't anybody else... One wicket down before play even starts! Brilliant!

  • millsy24 on November 7, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Warner and Smith batted really well today. Warner didn't have a slog at anything at all, played good cricket shots. Smith, Warner and Clarke were all great against the spinners, not troubled at all. Ahmed was woeful and there is no way he can possibly be put into the test team ahead of Lyon. His first 2 overs went for 18 runs and it didn't get much better for him. Lyon will be our spinner for this series as he should be.

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  • millsy24 on November 7, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Warner and Smith batted really well today. Warner didn't have a slog at anything at all, played good cricket shots. Smith, Warner and Clarke were all great against the spinners, not troubled at all. Ahmed was woeful and there is no way he can possibly be put into the test team ahead of Lyon. His first 2 overs went for 18 runs and it didn't get much better for him. Lyon will be our spinner for this series as he should be.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on November 7, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    Fantastic news for England fans! Even Australian fans had given up hope of Warner featuring in the Ashes after strings of failures in longer formats; but now one random knock (in Warner fashion) bolstered by good form in the shorter formats (where he belongs) has seen him gifted a place in the Ashes with ribbons on. Because there just ain't anybody else... One wicket down before play even starts! Brilliant!

  • ShutTheGate on November 7, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Pretty good signs for the Aussies based on the batters scores.

    Warner - 104, Rogers - 88, Watson - DNB, Clarke - 43, Smith - 107, Bailey - 34

    Consistent so far. I can't wait to see how Doolan goes down in Hobart.

  • on November 7, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Great to see Warner score big here -- it was a classy knock. He is a confidence player and should be raring to go for the summer Ashes now. Smith also looks to be a much improved player and is one of the best bats in the country now for sure. Clarke has had plenty of time in the middle... Chris Rogers also scored well in the first innings for Victoria... it is fantastic to see all of our Test players in form.

  • xtrafalgarx on November 7, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    @Nick: THis is his fourth hundred of the summer...It's not as if this Solitary knock has got him in, especially considering he is the incumbent.

  • Mitty2 on November 7, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    RU4REAL, let me spell it out for you, again. He averages 50 in australia in tests compared to a miserable 25 average away. Has put in literally awesome performaces against India, NZ on a seamer where he carried his bat (havent seeny Young Eng player do that - although they arent in that position anywhere near as much us) and of course SA, who have double the attack Eng have. You keep on raving on about him being a short form specialist but obviously he's not after being dropped from the ODI side, working hard, and scoring a ton in his third FC innings back against a good attack. That means 4 centuries in three weeks. Sorry but I'm certain he'll score at least one ton against the Eng attack as once you get on top of broad and anderson things get v. easy. You rave on selection from FC form, which warner has, just too bad that carberry actually was selected from limited overs and will get in the gully for 0 every innings.

  • HatsforBats on November 7, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    @ R_U_4_REAL_NICK, you know what's even better news for us Australian fans?! Thanks to a dead pitch it looks like Carberry will get the opening slot! One-for-nothing and two plodders who just got worked over by Harris at the crease.

  • stuartk319 on November 7, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    I've been saying "please don't pick Warner in the Test team" for a while now. I must admit this knock has proven me wrong. @ Dylan Young, good comments, if the batsmen carry their form into the Tests we could have an awesome Ashes series on our hands.

  • on November 7, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    I am sure warner and smith will be selected in ashes squad

  • Maroubra_Flyer on November 7, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    Well done Steve Smith, definitely Captain material. As Ponting said our most improved cricketer in the past 18 months and still only 24. Warner still too hit & miss for test cricket, too liable to get out early before taking the shine off the ball. However, he is in form and reminds me of Keith Stackpole, another aggressive opening bat. Warner, Smith, Rogers all getting runs & Clarke a handy warm up. Only need Watson to take up where he left off and Doolan another decent score in Hobart & our batting line up is sorted (Bailey if not). Johnson back to his best together with Siddle Harris & Lyon and we're starting to get a healthier line up. Still think England's experience in the clutches might see them get up 2-1, but this will be much closer than people think.