David Warner Thrives On Criticism, Says Aaron Finch
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David Warner Thrives On Criticism, Says Aaron Finch

Australia's Aaron Finch (L) and teammate David Warner (R) are expected to open throughout the World Cup. Photo: AFP
Australia's Aaron Finch (L) and teammate David Warner (R) are expected to open throughout the World Cup. Photo: AFP

David Warner might be a polarizing figure, but the aggressive opening batsman is rarely boring with his batting, and his heroics for Australia at the recently concluded Twenty20 World Cup signalled he is back to his explosive best.

Now aged 35 years, the larger-than-life opener David Warner boasts an average just shy of 50 from his 86 Tests, with his swashbuckling presence able to turn a game into its head.

David Warner (Associated Press)
David Warner (Associated Press)

David Warner’s Record In Australia Is Feared: James Anderson

Even England pace bowler and fellow veteran James Anderson, who will go eyeball to eyeball with his old foe when the Ashes 2021/22 begins on December 8 in Brisbane, has grudging respect.

“We’ve played so much cricket against David Warner, we know you can never say you’re actually on top of him — he’s that good of a batter, he’s got that much quality,” Anderson said.

“His record in Australia is ridiculous, so we know it’s going to be a different animal to the one we faced in 2019 in our summer.”

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

An attacking left-hander, David Warner, will feel he has unfinished business after a miserable Ashes, the last of which came on English soil in 2019 where he tallied just 95 runs at an average of only 9.5 in 5 Tests. Stuart Broad was his nemesis, dismissing him seven times. But as James Anderson alluded to, his form in Australia is enviable.

David Warner has scored 4,551 of his 7,311 Test runs at home, smacking 18 centuries at an average of 63.20 from his 45 Tests, plundering the highest score of unbeaten 335.

David Warner Is Important Batsman At The Top Of The Batting Order: Greg Chappell

Former Australian captain Greg Chappell warned that he should never be underestimated.

“Many had written him off before the T20 World Cup, only to have him prove how important he is at the top of the order,” he said, referring to Warner finding form again in leading Australia to the title last month.

“I think he is even more important in the Test line-up,” added Chappell.

“A skilful, fast-scoring opening batsman can be invaluable in setting up the game. Teams with aggressive openers cause opposition captains and bowlers to toss and turn at night.”

David Warner made a modest debut in Brisbane 10 years ago but then carried his bat with a career-defining century in his second game at Hobart to signal his arrival. He went on to establish himself as one of the best all-format openers in the world before it all came crashing down and his reputation was trashed.

Greg Chappell
Greg Chappell.

David Warner was cast as the villain in the infamous “Sandpaper-gate” ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in 2018, having conspired with Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith to alter the ball during the third Test in Cape Town. He was then widely seen as a central figure in the cultural crisis that engulfed Australian cricket.

He was stripped of the vice-captaincy and banned from ever holding a leadership role again in the team besides being banned for a year. David Warner served a 12-month ban before being called up again and promptly picked up where he left off, enjoying a prolific one-day World Cup before his poor Ashes series in 2019 that again had the critics writing him off.

But in typical fashion, he bounced back emphatically by scoring an epic unbeaten 335 against Pakistan in Adelaide later that year.

Another lean spell this year cost him his place on his Indian Premier League team Sunrisers Hyderabad, but once more, he proved the doubters wrong with his 2021 T20I World Cup exploits. Aaron Finch, the skipper of Australia’s triumphant T20 team, said David Warner thrived on criticism.

“Can’t believe people wrote him off. That’s when he plays his best cricket. It was almost like poking the bear.”

Former Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain David Warner has confirmed the franchise has released him despite his stellar campaign in the T20 World Cup 2021, where he bagged the Player of the Tournament award for 289 runs in seven matches for Australia. IPL 2021 has been the Australian’s worst season ever with just 195 runs in 8 games, with two fifties, averaging 24.38, and striking at 107.73.

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