Australia in India 2016-17 March 21, 2017

Runs will come, it will turn around - Warner

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David Warner's Test performances in unfamiliar conditions have come under the scanner this series

That this series remains alive with one Test to play is a significant achievement for Australia. That they have reached this point without a contribution of note from David Warner is all the more remarkable. Australia's most destructive batsman - and No.5 on the ICC's Test rankings - has scored fewer runs in this series than any other member of Australia's top five.

Warner has made 38, 10, 33, 17, 19 and 14, for a series tally of 131 runs at 21.83. He is far from the only batsman struggling in this campaign - Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have scored fewer runs than Warner - but the slump continues a worrying trend for Warner, who dominates fast and bouncy conditions but not so much when the ball turns and stays low.

Of Warner's 18 Test centuries, 14 have been scored at home and a further three in South Africa, where the conditions typically resemble those found in Australia. The only Test hundred he has made elsewhere came against Pakistan in Dubai in 2014. He averages sub-30 in India, Sri Lanka, West Indies and New Zealand.

"I feel fantastic, I couldn't be hitting the ball any better but it's just that the runs aren't coming for me at the moment," Warner told reporters in Ranchi after Australia played out a draw in the third Test. "That will come, it will turn around. I just have to keep being disciplined and making sure that my preparation is still the same - not change anything, and just go about my business as I do.

"Numbers always pop up everywhere. For me it's about putting my best foot forward and trying to put my team in a position that we can either defend or win games. That's what that's about. Everyone in world cricket, greats and legends of the game have had stints overseas or at home [where] they've had some form slumps. That's just the game of cricket."

'Everything I was doing at training was spot on and in the normal way I go about it. Nothing's changed, it's still the same. I've just got to go out and keep backing myself'

It is not Warner's first slump in recent times. He scored a hundred in the first week of 2016 against West Indies in the washed-out Sydney Test, but did not manage another until the final week of the year, when he plundered 144 against Pakistan in the Boxing Day Test. Warner said the knowledge that he had emerged from that dip with hundreds in consecutive Tests - he also made one at the SCG following the Boxing Day Test - gave him confidence.

"That's where in the back of your mind you've got to keep telling yourself you've done the hard yards, you just don't lose it overnight," he said. "There were tough periods where I kept on thinking to myself 'am I actually doing the work at training?' I sort of second guessed myself.

"I had a couple of words to some boys around Christmas time and they weren't seeing any trends or anything with my dismissals, everything I was doing at training was spot on and in the normal way I go about it. Nothing's changed, it's still the same. I've just got to go out and keep backing myself and, when I'm out there, adapt to the conditions and then keep backing myself to try and keep putting the runs on the board."

At least Warner has been helping Australia to steady starts, via his opening stands with Matt Renshaw. Three of their five opening partnerships in this series have been worth at least fifty, though Warner acknowledged that such starts should be turned into more hefty platforms.

"For the team's sake we need to get off to a good start," Warner said. "As a partnership, me and Renners have been getting off to an okay start. None for 50 over here, you need those to be none for 100. We've seen the Indians do it before, batting big and [making] partnerships of 200."

A notable aspect of Australia's top-order performance during this series has been that Renshaw, aged 20 and playing in his first Test series outside Australia, has scored more runs and faced more balls than any Australian besides Steven Smith. Renshaw has made two half-centuries and averaged 37.16 in this campaign, and only Smith and Cheteshwar Pujara from either side have faced more than Renshaw's tally of 567 deliveries.

"He knuckles down. He's got the game. He's got the brains as well, for a 20-year-old kid," Warner said. "I know where my mind was when I was a 20-year-old. Credit to him. To come out here and play the way he has done so far in this series is a testament to him and obviously the way he started in Australia as well."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

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