When the matter is about quick runs and sheer entertainment, David Warner is one of the sensations in world cricket at the moment. Warner’s style remains the same in all formats of the game and when he is in full flow, it’s nightmare time for the opposition bowlers. Over the years, his form means a lot for Australia and in the upcoming series against India, the bat Warner needs to script big scores consistently.
Australia have not won a Test on the Indian soil since 2004. They are on a nine-match losing streak in Asia. The last time Australians won a Test series in the continent was back in 2011. These numbers come out as a massive worry for Steven Smith and Co when they will take the field for the first Test against a near unstoppable India on February 23.
Their batting line-up boasts of talented players like David Warner, skipper Smith, Shaun and Mitchell Marsh, Usman Khawaja and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell but not all of them have an experience of having played against the red ball on the tricky Indian pitches.
A new Warner
Out of nine specialist batsmen in the Australian squad that has flown down for the four-Test series, only Matthew Wade, Smith and Warner have previously played Tests in India. Undoubtedly, most of the scoring will depend on the three and it will be very important for Warner to surprise the Indian contingent with a new style.
The explosive opener has an image of attacking game right from ball No. 1. He is a fearless player, which is a quality in itself; but Australia will require him to bat for long periods in the India series. While his One-Day International (ODI) numbers speak volumes about his dominance in the white ball game, it is not the same in the longer-formats.
Warner’s numbers do not tell much about the capability he possesses in Test cricket. The four Tests in India are going to be no easy task. He will be up against the four-time Test double centurion, Virat Kohli, the consistent Murali Vijay, the sincere Ajinkya Rahane and a persevering Cheteshwara Pujara.
Although Warner has a Test double hundred in his defence; that came in his backyard. However, the likes of Rahane, Kohli and Pujara have not only dominated at home, they have left a mark overseas as well.
Warner has played one Test series in India; he was a part of the touring party of 2012-13 series. It’s understandable that a player, who had just played T20s in India, would have taken the time to get used to the Indian conditions. He had gathered 195 runs in four Tests that included two fifties.
The change in graph happened post-2013.
The New South Wales-born cricketer improved massively after 2013 but has not been able to maintain his consistency in the Test format. Last year, Warner played 11 Tests and had sadly managed only two centuries.
Warner’s poor touch has been for a while in Tests, both at home and away. He was a part of Australia’s side that faced Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan in the last few months. The numbers are the testimony that Warner’s good form is highly influential and does well for his side. Warner managed just one fifty and scored a mere 163 runs in three Tests against Sri Lanka, the result went against them as Australia were embarrassed with a 0-3 whitewash.
The worse waited at home when South Africa defeated the Australians who are known to be lions at home. Once again, Warner was eluded of a century and he had just one half-century from three Tests. Warner had 236 runs to his name as Australia faced a second consecutive Test series defeat.
As soon as Warner’s form recovered Australia’s results turned positive. Next came Pakistan, who were hammered by the hosts. Warner had two centuries in three Tests as Australia sealed the series 3-0.
It is not wrong to say that there is going to a massive dependency on Warner for putting runs on board. And why not? He is a player who already has 5000+ runs to his name from 60 Tests, averaging almost 50. He was given an international call even before he played a First-Class match for a reason – he is a talented cricketer and the upcoming Test series against India is an excellent platform to prove his worth as a Test batsman.