Once upon a time, David Warner was Australia’s most energetic & explosive batsman in the country, he simply had no fear of losing his wicket which certainly showed in his twenty20 debut against South Africa in 2009.
That cataclysmic-whirlwind Warner created at the MCG on debut for his country will be forever remembered as the newly-discovered aggressive opening batsman that Australia were in desperate need of, but test cricket was the last thing on everyone’s mind after that innings. Looking back on it, 89 runs off just 43 balls, it was a classic David Warner innings. With age comes experience though, fast forward nine years and Warner has developed a technique that allows him to play all three formats of the game, but you can’t help but think he’s lost a bit of that recklessness which made him one of the most dangerous opening batsman in the world.
That’s not to say Warner has lost his aggressive nature, he’s now at a stage in his career where he’s dominating test cricket due to his T20 background, he’s tweaked a few things which has made him the batsman he is today. When it comes to twenty20 & one-day cricket though, the transition from the longest format of the game to the shortest can often be difficult, especially with fatigue destine to set in at some stage along with the mindset of hitting everything for four & six after you’ve been patiently knocking the ball and looking for the occasional boundary. The 31-year-old finished his Ashes campaign strongly with scores of 103 & 86 in the Boxing Day test at the ‘G’, followed by a solid-56 in the fifth & final test at the SCG.
Things started going downhill for Warner after Australia’s 4-0 victory over England in the test series. The Gillette ODI series against England raised some eyebrows after Warner finished the five-game series with a total of just 73 runs, top scoring in Brisbane with 35 & averaging just 14.60. Warner wasn’t alone though, skipper Steve Smith was uncharacteristically quiet throughout the series, averaging just 20.40 which could have been a sign of fatigue after a lengthy duration of cricket. In saying that, Warner’s opening partner Aaron Finch left nothing in the tank when he slotted back into the setup with back-to-back centuries in Melbourne & Brisbane, along with an entertaining 62 at the SCG before he injured his hamstring.
With Smith finally given a rest, Warner has taken over the captaincy for the T20 International tri-series against New Zealand & England. His leadership has been faultless so far, he’s led the team superbly and Australia have won their first two matches comprehensively. Warner’s individual performance, however, hasn’t been the response the public and he himself would have been hoping for with scores of 6 & 4 in the first two games. You can never write off a champion, but at the moment David Warner looks out of sorts with his game and is just finding a way to get out. All players go through a bit of a rough patch, lets hope it’s just a minor one for Warner with Australia’s tour of South Africa on the horizon.