World Test Championship

Warner finds confidence in the nets ahead of WTC Final and Ashes challenge

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Australia star opener David Warner believed that he was practising better than ever before at the nets, and looked to back his game plan prior to the ICC World Test Championship Final 2023.

David Warner has been the mainstay of Australia's Test top order for over a decade. He has a stellar record as an opener, and has scored 8158 runs at an average of 45.57 in 103 Tests. Still, his record in England hasn't been the greatest.

651 runs at 26.04 is a far cry from his extraordinary Test record in other countries but Warner’s form was hit badly during his last Ashes tour to England. The opener had the second-worst batting average among the tourists, as he accumulated merely 95 runs from his 10 innings. 

Speaking to Cricket Australia before the nets session on Saturday, Warner called his form in the nets one of the best he has ever had and believed that his recent Indian Premier League (IPL) stint helped him before the Tests in England. 

"I've actually been superb in terms of my feet are moving, my energy's been moving, and I've been up and about," Warner said.

"I've come off the IPL and, in that format, you have to look to score and I think that's held me in good stead for this (Test) preparation. I'm still looking to score."

The Australian opener, whose record in England has been a talking point ahead of the big WTC Final, believed that his torrid run in 2019 was the product of him moving away from his game plan.

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"It was difficult, and there was nothing to do with any of my technique or anything like that. If I am critical of myself, it was probably for going away from my gameplan, which is looking to score," Warner said.

"I was listening to some other voices which from my perspective didn't suit my game."

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The New South Wales player added that he found success on that tour during the third Test at Leeds (scoring 61 in the first innings), when he went back to his "normal’" style of play.

"I gave that a chance, but I felt like I batted my best at Leeds and that was the way I normally played," Warner said, looking to back this intent-driven approach.

"I'm happy to nick off playing a cover drive rather than a front foot defence. From an opening batter's perspective, it's going to be challenging with the new ball to do that.

"But you have to be brave, and I think in these conditions with world-class bowlers, you can't allow them to settle and you can't allow them to put the ball in that one spot. So you're going to have to make some brave decisions and be content with getting out, if it's a cover drive or whatever."

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Usman Khawaja, Warner’s long-time teammate and fellow opener, backed the southpaw to come good in the upcoming tour. 

"Genuinely, this is the best I've seen Davey bat in the nets the last couple days, it's been awesome to watch," Khawaja told Cricket Australia.

"It's as simple as just the way he's moving; just the way he's striking the ball. 

"I've played a lot of cricket with him, and I've batted at the other end to him throughout my career – Test cricket or at state level – and you can just tell when he's moving well."

Khawaja said that he wouldn’t be surprised if Warner scored a "truckload of runs" in England.

"He's an aggressive player, he plays a lot of shots generally and you can see when that's happening. It would not surprise me if he comes out and scores a truckload of runs here, it's just what Davey can do. Every time his back is against the wall, it seems like that's when he scores runs."


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