Australia v Sri Lanka, CB Series 1st final, Brisbane March 4, 2012

Warner corrects his ODI anomaly

He has conquered the Twenty20 format, he has surprised some with his effectiveness in Tests, and now David Warner has finally sorted out the confusion about why he had not played that big ODI innings
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Until tonight, David Warner's ODI career was an anomaly. He had scored two superlative Test centuries despite limited first-class experience (only 17 games, including six Tests), he had set the Twenty20 world alight, but the one-day international game remained unconquered. He had played 18 games before today for just 405 runs.

Warner nearly did not play the first final. On statistics alone, he would have been the choice to make way for the returning captain Michael Clarke. Cricket does not work on statistics alone, though. Australia stuck with Warner. They knew he could win a match off his bat alone. They knew he could play above the game around him. They were right. Warner responded with the eighth-highest maiden century in the history of ODIs. Six of the seven above him came against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe or Associates, with the other against New Zealand.

Warner has always challenged logic. He was a Twenty20 showman who watched balls sail into the stands with his hand on his helmet, and hardly played first-class cricket. Then came the Tests, and all you wanted to ask was: where the bloody hell were ya? It remained confounding, though - a bit like it was with Virender Sehwag a few years ago - that this man had the two extremes figured out and was struggling with the middle path.

"It is cricket, isn't it? The way I play I am going to come off sometimes, and sometimes not," Warner said of the phenomenon. Perhaps his reputation hurt him. Perhaps he wanted to dominate a bit too early. Like with Sehwag, you knew it would not be too long before Warner would say hello to this format too.

After he scored that whirlwind Test hundred at the WACA, Warner said that he had been worried because the runs had not been coming for him in recent times. He did not feel any such nerves today, despite a slow start to his ODI career. "At the end of the day, I didn't feel any pressure at all," Warner said after Australia's victory at the Gabba. "I backed myself, my instincts and how I play. I went out there with the same attitude, to get the team off to a good start, and I did. Me and Matt [Matthew Wade] put on a 100-run partnership, which was fantastic. At the end of the day it is cricket, and I am thoroughly enjoying it still."

Australian conditions, which offer movement for longer than has become the norm in ODI cricket, perhaps require a more circumspect approach at the top, especially with two new balls. Warner built a solid foundation today, not going out of his way to hit boundaries. It was also the time when the pitch was at its freshest. The ball jagged around, but it helped that Matthew Wade ran away at the top.

"Obviously the first 50 runs were a bit scratchy," Warner said. "I felt that I didn't really hit one ball off the middle, but by then I knew I had to keep going, with Matthew. I had to be there at the end. I knew in the middle period if I kept going and got a big hundred, we would get 300."

Warner did make a change to his mindset in that he wanted to bat through the 50 overs. "We have always said that one of the top four batters has to bat through because then we'll get 300," Warner said. "Today I had a job to do. That was my role, and I was the set batsman. With the Powerplays I had to bat my normal way, and I did that, and when Michael [Clarke] came in he said to me, 'You try to be there till the 46-47th over, and I did that.' It was a conscious effort from me to stay there through the 50 overs, and it put us in a great position."

Once Warner got in, he sizzled. The middle overs and spread fields did not seem to matter. The bowlers were not safe, nor were the umpires, and the crowd too had to be alert. The two shots that often stand out for Warner are his pulls and cuts in front of square, which become important when the pitch is slow, as it was tonight. Warner kept hitting those shots once he had reached the middle part of the innings.

The persistence with a potential matchwinner has paid off for Australia, but Warner strained his groin too, while turning back for a second in the 45th over, and it is "very very" sore at the moment.

Warner's performance should have set up a one-sided win for Australia. That they did not win it so convincingly is a different matter, but Warner brought back memories of numerous ODIs that Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden took away from the opposition, something Australia have missed since their retirements.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 6, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    @ Aniket Ranade Read it again, it says the eighth highest MAIDEN century. NOT the 8th best score.

  • Meety on March 5, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    @MaruthuDelft - whilst I tend to think that Sehwag will continue to dwindle over the next few years, I think it is foolish to trash someone with his record. I think the IPL has done him no favours as he doesn't seem as focussed as he once was, however, once upon a time he had a defence technique that was a mirror image of SRTs. If he can rediscover that, he will again perform well at the top level. Yes he seems to lack some fight atm, but as I said anybody that averages 50+ in test cricket over a long period - deserves some respect. @Philip_Gnana - good comments, although I think it won't be too long before sides bowl spin to Warner at the start of the innings in all forms of the game.

  • gpm86 on March 5, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    @Aniket Ranade. Your attention to detail is lacking.... it says "by an australian". I love how heaps of ppl are quick to try and jump on the editors and writers on cricinfo yet are often wrong anyways..

  • MaruthuDelft on March 5, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    My god. There are people who still believe Sehwag is good. He doesn't fight. All his achievements came when the radar was missing him. Even after 2 triples people didn't take him seriously.After the second Morne Morkel said it was ridiculous meaning 'yes he has done it but he can't believe it'. After the 293 people thought he might have something and the radar was reset. After that he never scored against good teams. But it is the lack of grit you should have observed. Boycott said 'yes 2 triples but he is not good'. The best was one reader predicted in Cricinfo 'he will not score 219 in the entire seiries down under' after his ODI double century. Don't you have intelligence? He is not knit for fight. But Warner must be good. He came through the Australian system. Sehwag would never have made it to first class cricket in Australia.

  • unregisteredalien on March 5, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    @Philip_Gnana: pot noodle cricket! I like that, might borrow it if you don't mind.

  • spinnermatt on March 5, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    @Aniket Ranade Learn to read; it says the 'eighth-highest MAIDEN century in the history of ODIs'.

  • Philip_Gnana on March 5, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    Warner has not been a non-contributor but has given his all. Sides are still trying to find his week points in how to bowl to him. A very good performance in how to play till the end. That is what you will be expecting from an excellent batsman to play the full 50 overs. The Indian supporters seem to be still unable to take in the defeats and the bad performances of their team barring a few good ones in between. I feel sad that this great nation has been let down by their seniors hogging their places. They are better of in the IPL I would say. Clarke sure must have been have kittens the way SL took up the challenge and would not go away. The Aussie spirit that is instilled in SL I would say. Hope the series goes in to the final game so that it would be a proper final. I personally do not agree with the best of three finals it just should be the final. T20? what T20. ODI is doing great and so it should be. T20 is entertainment or pot noodle cricket ideal for the retired. Surrey UK

  • Fast_Track_Bully on March 5, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    Technically he is not top class but he is caching in his current form. I donot think can survive like Ponting or Gilly even if he is aggressive as them.

  • on March 5, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    This is FACTUALLY wrong!...This is NOT the 8th best score in ODIS...

  • zenboomerang on March 5, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    Warners torn hamstring/groin in the 45th over sort of spoils a brilliant innings - great batting, but will probably miss the important 2nd match & 3rd if required... Either way, he has secured his position in all formats of the game & for the 1st ODI match in the WI tour in 11 days time... Warner again shows the importance of building match winning scores as an opener & will put pressure on anyone else trying to take his position away...

  • on March 6, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    @ Aniket Ranade Read it again, it says the eighth highest MAIDEN century. NOT the 8th best score.

  • Meety on March 5, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    @MaruthuDelft - whilst I tend to think that Sehwag will continue to dwindle over the next few years, I think it is foolish to trash someone with his record. I think the IPL has done him no favours as he doesn't seem as focussed as he once was, however, once upon a time he had a defence technique that was a mirror image of SRTs. If he can rediscover that, he will again perform well at the top level. Yes he seems to lack some fight atm, but as I said anybody that averages 50+ in test cricket over a long period - deserves some respect. @Philip_Gnana - good comments, although I think it won't be too long before sides bowl spin to Warner at the start of the innings in all forms of the game.

  • gpm86 on March 5, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    @Aniket Ranade. Your attention to detail is lacking.... it says "by an australian". I love how heaps of ppl are quick to try and jump on the editors and writers on cricinfo yet are often wrong anyways..

  • MaruthuDelft on March 5, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    My god. There are people who still believe Sehwag is good. He doesn't fight. All his achievements came when the radar was missing him. Even after 2 triples people didn't take him seriously.After the second Morne Morkel said it was ridiculous meaning 'yes he has done it but he can't believe it'. After the 293 people thought he might have something and the radar was reset. After that he never scored against good teams. But it is the lack of grit you should have observed. Boycott said 'yes 2 triples but he is not good'. The best was one reader predicted in Cricinfo 'he will not score 219 in the entire seiries down under' after his ODI double century. Don't you have intelligence? He is not knit for fight. But Warner must be good. He came through the Australian system. Sehwag would never have made it to first class cricket in Australia.

  • unregisteredalien on March 5, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    @Philip_Gnana: pot noodle cricket! I like that, might borrow it if you don't mind.

  • spinnermatt on March 5, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    @Aniket Ranade Learn to read; it says the 'eighth-highest MAIDEN century in the history of ODIs'.

  • Philip_Gnana on March 5, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    Warner has not been a non-contributor but has given his all. Sides are still trying to find his week points in how to bowl to him. A very good performance in how to play till the end. That is what you will be expecting from an excellent batsman to play the full 50 overs. The Indian supporters seem to be still unable to take in the defeats and the bad performances of their team barring a few good ones in between. I feel sad that this great nation has been let down by their seniors hogging their places. They are better of in the IPL I would say. Clarke sure must have been have kittens the way SL took up the challenge and would not go away. The Aussie spirit that is instilled in SL I would say. Hope the series goes in to the final game so that it would be a proper final. I personally do not agree with the best of three finals it just should be the final. T20? what T20. ODI is doing great and so it should be. T20 is entertainment or pot noodle cricket ideal for the retired. Surrey UK

  • Fast_Track_Bully on March 5, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    Technically he is not top class but he is caching in his current form. I donot think can survive like Ponting or Gilly even if he is aggressive as them.

  • on March 5, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    This is FACTUALLY wrong!...This is NOT the 8th best score in ODIS...

  • zenboomerang on March 5, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    Warners torn hamstring/groin in the 45th over sort of spoils a brilliant innings - great batting, but will probably miss the important 2nd match & 3rd if required... Either way, he has secured his position in all formats of the game & for the 1st ODI match in the WI tour in 11 days time... Warner again shows the importance of building match winning scores as an opener & will put pressure on anyone else trying to take his position away...

  • Vishnu27 on March 5, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    @TheBengalTiger: what are you talking about? He has been failing regularly. However, he doesn't use his "mouth" anywhere near the degree of some of the cocky, abrasive, arrogant & "very, very average" Indian cricketers that have just down the rounds here in Australia recently. Seems you summed up India's current decline in a sentence extremely succinctly: "more mouth than ability".

  • Cricket_observer_from_1982 on March 5, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    India would have done the same with robin uttappa or yousuf pathan. Insted they prefer ravindra jedeja and dinesh karthick. Srikanth must be breaking his head on how to bring back dinesh karthick. It is a shame that the nucleaus of the team is still what ganguly build. Investing and persisting with potential match winners is the only way to get long term benefit. A lesson ganguly taught the whole cricket world

  • satish619chandar on March 5, 2012, 2:59 GMT

    Technical fault will always remain for anyone if he plays more shots and a aggressive batsman.. What Warner's innings did is, just continuing the Aussie trend of producing the best on big stage.. How well he managed to build a innings on a Fianl when he was really decoded completely by the SL new ball attack.. The way he carries himself was just awesome..

  • satish619chandar on March 5, 2012, 2:57 GMT

    @MaruthuDelft : Viru will go down as joke? He is a legend already mate.. if you see the test XI proposed most of the Ex-cricketers in test teams, Viru will feature in most as he can kill any bowling attack on his day and a sheer matchwinner on his own.. I do agree he is in bad form or aging but credit should go where it deserves and he IS A LEGEND!!

  • on March 5, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    well done Aussies.Adelaide wont b easy get ready.

  • csowmi7 on March 5, 2012, 1:55 GMT

    @MaruthuDelft. Hmmm I suppose the 293 he hit in Sri Lanka was a joke. His 53 average which is greater than Sangakarra's and Jayawardene and his 22 centuries and 2 triple centuries are also a joke I suppose. Warner is good no doubt but he still has a lot to achieve to be in the same league as sehwag.

  • smudgeon on March 5, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    wow, a few people getting a bit carried away here! Warner is a good batsman, but i feel he's always going to be hit-and-miss - that's just the nature of his game, which is risky. good to have someone back in the Aus XI who can play that way. i was most impressed with his patience - not so much flailing away at anything with a bit of width or length, more waiting for the right ball. funny how a strike rate over 100 and that makes him seem a bit subdued! still, a fine knock, and i hope to see more from him in future...

  • Meety on March 5, 2012, 1:06 GMT

    @Marcio - Warner had to see out the series, but honestly, I would much rather him playing Shield cricket & preparing for tests than playing in the ODIs. Awkward saying that after such a good knock, although his first 50 was very scratchy, there didn't seem any kamikazi stuff that has hampered him earlier in the tournament. == == == Top knock by Warner, I think most people would imagine a Warner ODI 160 odd as coming off about 100 balls. He showed a fair bit of restraint & determination to withstand conditions that were not that easy for batting (2 rain stoppages & some good but unlucky bowling from SL).

  • Hyderabadi_Nawab on March 4, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    Warner still has major technical flaws, his backlift is still a problem. It always comes from 3rd man and toward onside for a ball pitched on his leg-side and moving towards off - he is playing across the line and that's the basic problem. This is the same problem that a guy like Gareme Smith has even after all these years Warner had one close call against Kulasekara early in this innings and he could have easily been bowled playing on like he did earlier in the series. Even his 6s were mishits but carried thru purely on muscle - still a long way to Tipperary for this guy but he certainly is an entertainer...good luck Davie

  • nelarowantri on March 4, 2012, 23:42 GMT

    I am an Indian, Warner is a great guy to watch playing... He is some what similar to Sehwag. Sehwag is great timer of the ball even when he is slogging.. but a moving ball sometimes break his timing... Warner is more sensible in choosing his shots... Both are very unique and rare talents...I think it will be in the interest of Australia to persist with Warner and give him some lee way....Keep believing in God and also your game Warner.. In no time you will be one of the all-time greats cricket has seen... Congratulations..

  • on March 4, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    Has tremendous potential no doubt, but a few innings like this would certainly make Warner a special player.

  • Harry_Kool on March 4, 2012, 20:31 GMT

    @TheBengalTiger. "Ordinaty batsman"? I guess after watching India's last 2 away series, you would know exactly what "ordinary batsmen" are!!!LOL

  • Cpt.Meanster on March 4, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    YAAAAYY !! My favorite Davy Warner !!! I wish I could just hug him tight. Well compiled innings that required excellent endurance and patience. If he can sustain this for the remainder of the finals then SL will have some problem. He's exactly what Sehwag WAS for India when he first came into the team. Such players can take the game away from you after just 20 overs. Once Australia put up a 100 run partnership I knew SL would struggle for the rest of the game. Best wishes Davy !!

  • AvidCricFan on March 4, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    Warner's technic does not look as flawed as Shewag's. Shewag is too lead-footed at crease. This is his undoing on bouncing and seaming wickets. However, Warner is still not as destructive as Shewag.

  • on March 4, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    Loved the last line which says.. " but Warner brought back memories of numerous ODIs that Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden took away from the opposition, something Australia have missed since their retirements."...only if Wade turns out to be a replacement of Gilchrist, It'll be like Hayden and Gilchrist never retired!

  • Daran9 on March 4, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    As a SL fan, I do congratulate Warner for his patience at the start of his innings which gave him the platform to launch at the later stage. Wade batted brilliantly as well which made Warner's job easy. Well played Australia!

  • praveenchopra on March 4, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    who said he is better than sehwag?

  • RNikh on March 4, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    I've been saying this from his hundred against chennai super kings in chennai in the clt20, to that brilliant hundred in extremely tough conditions at Hobart in his second test, carrying his bat through , then to that mind blowing blistering hundred at the waca agains India and now again, pl mark my word! WARNER IS A FUTURE GREAT! THE MOST DANGEROUS, UNBELIEVEABLE BATSMEN OF THE PRESENT GENERATION! WATCH OUT BOWLERS, YOU GUYS ARE IN TROUBLE!!! Go warner, don't ever stop!!!!

  • on March 4, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    very jealous people doubt his talent.Talent should always be praised.

  • MaruthuDelft on March 4, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    @Srinivasan N. Iyer, Sehwags problem is not technique. He doesn't have the mind to fight. Australians are tough. So Warner will succede. Sehwag will go down as a joke.

  • cheeseburgers on March 4, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    the link in the contents are not working...for eg "seven above him", "at the WACA"...

  • TheBengalTiger on March 4, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    Very very average batsman. More mouth than ability. He will fail soon

  • Marcio on March 4, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    I predicted Warner would go off in these finals. A fantastic innings, yet again. You can't leave players like this out of the team - unless they are in really bad form. Warner's form hasn't been that bad, 30s,40s, 60s here and there of late - despite some critics.

  • on March 4, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    I yet think his technique like our Sehwag's is always suspect. Today he was lucky.

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  • on March 4, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    I yet think his technique like our Sehwag's is always suspect. Today he was lucky.

  • Marcio on March 4, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    I predicted Warner would go off in these finals. A fantastic innings, yet again. You can't leave players like this out of the team - unless they are in really bad form. Warner's form hasn't been that bad, 30s,40s, 60s here and there of late - despite some critics.

  • TheBengalTiger on March 4, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    Very very average batsman. More mouth than ability. He will fail soon

  • cheeseburgers on March 4, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    the link in the contents are not working...for eg "seven above him", "at the WACA"...

  • MaruthuDelft on March 4, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    @Srinivasan N. Iyer, Sehwags problem is not technique. He doesn't have the mind to fight. Australians are tough. So Warner will succede. Sehwag will go down as a joke.

  • on March 4, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    very jealous people doubt his talent.Talent should always be praised.

  • RNikh on March 4, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    I've been saying this from his hundred against chennai super kings in chennai in the clt20, to that brilliant hundred in extremely tough conditions at Hobart in his second test, carrying his bat through , then to that mind blowing blistering hundred at the waca agains India and now again, pl mark my word! WARNER IS A FUTURE GREAT! THE MOST DANGEROUS, UNBELIEVEABLE BATSMEN OF THE PRESENT GENERATION! WATCH OUT BOWLERS, YOU GUYS ARE IN TROUBLE!!! Go warner, don't ever stop!!!!

  • praveenchopra on March 4, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    who said he is better than sehwag?

  • Daran9 on March 4, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    As a SL fan, I do congratulate Warner for his patience at the start of his innings which gave him the platform to launch at the later stage. Wade batted brilliantly as well which made Warner's job easy. Well played Australia!

  • on March 4, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    Loved the last line which says.. " but Warner brought back memories of numerous ODIs that Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden took away from the opposition, something Australia have missed since their retirements."...only if Wade turns out to be a replacement of Gilchrist, It'll be like Hayden and Gilchrist never retired!