Out of form David Warner’s Test career hangs in balance; Has he played his last Test?
Out of form David Warner’s Test career hangs in balance; Has he played his last Test? David Warner averages 21.78 from 19 Test innings played against India in India.
The moment Mohammed Shami after asking a few tough questions in a fiery spell of bowling found the edge of David Warner’s blade during the first innings of the second Test at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, a devastated Warner went back to the dressing room with a frustrated face after getting a start, for a personal score of 15 off 44 deliveries.
Given how Australia were playing in the second Test - fearlessly and always looking to score runs – it was a perfect gameplan that allowed Warner to play his natural game. Warner was making himself ready to go after the bowlers in the second essay of the Delhi Test, but little did he know that the bouncer that hit him on the arm during the first innings would rule him out of not only the remainder of the Test match but also for the rest of the Border Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) 2023.
Warner’s struggle in India continues unabated; has 414 runs in 19 innings
The spin-friendly pitches and subcontinental conditions in India perhaps don’t suit David Warner at all and his Test numbers playing in India point towards the same picture.
In his 19 Test innings in India, Warner has scored just 414 runs at an average of just 21.78 and strike rate of just 52.67 including three half centuries and best score of 71. During the four-match Test series in 2016-17 in India, Warner collected just 193 runs at an average of 24.12 and strike rate of 62.45 including just one fifty besides his name.
What’s more terrifying is that the same batter who scores so aggressively on those bouncy and fast pitches of Australia seems to be clueless against the spin attack of India. And perhaps to an extent, it’s not about only the spin, even the pacers with the low bounce make his life difficult in the middle.
Amidst all the talks around the spin heavy 22-yards of the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Nagpur, Warner saw his stumps cartwheeling on the 13th ball of the first Test; a length delivery from Shami nipped back to find the inside edge of his bat before taking the off-stump out for quite a sight. In the second innings, he could have been dismissed after being set-up beautifully by Ravichandran Ashwin, but Virat Kohli’s dropped catch at the first slip stretched his life in the middle for a while. Just after a few overs, Ashwin trapped him before the stumps with a slider on 10. This time Warner left the series with just 26 runs in three innings at an average of 8.66. The way it’s going for him in the last few months, he has perhaps played his last Test in India.
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Warner’s tough times in spin-friendly and swinging conditions
It’s not only India where Warner struggles, he also struggles against the Dukes ball in England and West Indies; bounce doesn’t really make his life hard as he has a good record in both South Africa and Australia.
Let’s take a look at how Warner has performed in all the countries in his 103-match career so far. Till now, he has scored 5139 runs in 55 home Tests at an average of 58.40 and strike rate of 73.27 including 19 centuries and seven fifties. In 48 away Tests, he has smashed 3019 Test runs in 48 games at an average of 33.18 and strike rate of 67.58 including 20 half centuries and six hundreds.