Friday, June 14, 2024

WTC Final: I wasn’t challenged enough on my front-foot defence, says David Warner

Australia’s veteran left-handed opener David Warner feels he wasn’t challenged enough on his front-foot defence by a lacklustre and erratic Indian bowling attack on Day One of the World Test Championship (WTC) Final at The Oval.

Warner looked in great touch after surviving a probing first hour, particularly from Mohammed Shami operating from around the wicket angle, though he lost Usman Khawaja to Mohammed Siraj for a ten-ball duck.

He hammered Umesh Yadav for a drive through for four, before carving the pacer for four offside boundaries in the 15th over. But he fell just before the lunch break to Shardul Thakur for 43, gloving a pull behind to the keeper.

“Only thing I felt as a batsman (was) I wasn’t challenged enough on my front-foot defence so it was okay to leave on length then try to put some pressure on,” said Warner in a chat with broadcasters ahead of day two’s play.

Warner was in lean form in the format before day one’s play and was in great nick during the practice sessions in the run-up to the marquee finale. “I’ve had a great preparation leading into this.”

“There’s been a lot of hype around myself, which there always has been in the last decade but that comes with the game…Yesterday probably was the best I’ve felt in the last 24 months,” he added.

Asked about the pitch at The Oval, Warner observed, “It was a little bit dry, I marked a few scuffs yesterday around the crease line and it was quite dry. We saw a bit of variable bounce as well, specifically bowling from the changing room end. Hopefully, we can bat deep today, look past 500 and maybe bowl this afternoon after tea.”

Warner had earlier announced his wish to retire from Test cricket after playing in Sydney Test against Pakistan in January 2024. He said the announcement was made in order to get all the attention shift from him to the game.

“Just feel that sometimes you need to put more emphasis on the team and just feel like every time an article was written it’s all about me, and it’s not about me, me getting dropped or me retiring, just felt I had to put it out there. Then everyone can be quiet and just concentrate on this game and the series leading into it,” he said.

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