David Warner extended his prolific summer across formats, topping it with an unbeaten century that handed India a drubbing in the opening ODI of the series in Mumbai on Tuesday. Warner’s 18th ODI century was his fourth across formats since the summer started for him back home.
Before that Warner had a dismal run during the Ashes in England, putting together all of 95 runs in 10 innings. On Tuesday, Warner said that he was batting well in the nets in England but the runs weren’t coming. Warner then returned home to hit form straightaway, with a T20I century against Sri Lanka, and currently averages 171.57 in 12 international matches this season, with two half-centuries and five centuries – one in T20I cricket, three in Tests and the latest one in ODIs.
Warner recalled how he batted for long hours in the nets before the Pakistan Tests, in which he scored consecutive hundreds, including a career-best 335 not out in Adelaide.
“Yeah I was hitting them well in England in the nets too and couldn’t get a run on the board,” Warne said at the press conference. “I have a hunger and a desire to score runs all the time. I look back at that little phase there [in England] and it was just a small hiccup. I wasn’t out of form, I was out of runs.
“I’m really making the most of it at the moment, my feet are moving well. I’m getting my head over my front leg, my weight is going through the ball. All those small things are coming into play. When you are in that kind of form and touch and everything is going well for you, you have to make sure you are practicing the same and doing all the hard work.
“I look back at the beginning against Pakistan, I trained a lot going into the first Test match, JL (Justin Langer) noted to me I had been batting for almost two hours in that session which is unlike me. I didn’t play a Shield game leading in and I felt like I needed to bat time. It put me in real good stead for the summer.”
Warner and Aaron Finch put on a dominating stand like never before against India that was only their second 10-wicket loss at home. Warner said his chemistry with Finch off the field, and their understanding of each other played a crucial role in how they performed on the field. The two have opened 59 times in ODIs, with a tally of 3050 runs, including nine century stands. Against India, they average a staggering 106, having opened 10 times for 954 runs, including three century stands.
“The most pleasing thing for me up the other end was seeing Finchy transfer his weight into the ball very well,” Warner said. “He talks about not doing that as consistently, but tonight was probably the best that I’ve ever seen him bat. The way that he played was fantastic. It was great to have that winning partnership and be clinical there and [win] none down.
“We complement each other on the field but we’re great mates off the field and I think we know each other’s games so well and personalities that now we can have honest conversations out there. If we’re playing shots that we wouldn’t, we reassure each other about that, it’s purely we complement each other, it’s just great to go out there and play the way that we do. When he’s going, I know what my role is and when I’m going he knows what he’s role is and we communicate that straight away and I think that’s the best thing about our partnership, it works very well.”
When asked if Warner saw himself and Finch opening the batting in the next World Cup too, in 2023 in India, Warner brought up a few other factors, apart from form and fitness, into play.
“I think we’ll speak to our wives first. We’ll both be 36 or 37, I’ve got three kids – I hope that’s the last one (laughs) – and in that three years you’ve got form, wives, family. Take one step at a time.”