Cricket: Player in focus: David Warner


David Warner in action in 2009

David Warner: little known before his blazing Twenty20 debut against South Africa in January of 2009, where he scored a blistering 89 from 43 balls.

Since then, Warner has come along in leaps and bounds, including his test debut against New Zealand in December 2011, and an Indian Premier League (IPL) cap with the Delhi Daredevils.

An exciting and explosive cricketer with a bullish like nature to his batting, Warner has come a long way since being pulled from relative obscurity and limited experience.  However, his aggressive nature, and tendency to reach for the big shot can see Warner be very inconsistent.

Despite all his batting shortcomings, Warner has shown that he is an extremely competent batsman at 25, scoring 123 against New Zealand in a losing test.  Warner’s short but well-built frame allows him to dispatch balls with relative ease over fences.

While he can put the likes of Dale Steyn and other world quicks, Warner seems to find himself in a very different bubble when exposed to spin bowling.  When the ball is given flight or turn in the air, Warner’s footwork that is on show against the pacemen is severely lacking against the spinners.

Having watched Warner numerous times on different pitches, his greatest weakness is those balls pitched outside off, spinning and even swinging away.  His feet shuffle around at the crease, not giving him the ability to put full power into his shots.

Using two excellent examples, Warner’s second test century-180 at the WACA against India in January-was a masterclass of clean hitting, footwork and technique.  Move forward about two weeks, and he faltered against the spin of Ravi Ashwin.

Warner was at a slight disadvantage when selected for his first international match; his match his experience was short, and he had not played a first-class game.  The lack of game time has probably had some setbacks for Warner’s career.  Nonetheless, the likes of veterans Michael Hussey and Ricky Ponting, and his opening partnership with Shane Watson, have given Warner valuable lessons for the future.

With Australia in a rebuilding stage, trying new bowling combinations, Warner has pretty much locked in his opening spot.  Now, it is more important than ever that he continue to develop his game and ensure his technique can be applied to all facets of his game.  Extremely athletic in the field, and having a very safe pair of hands, Warner is the Jonty Rhodes of Australia.

Overall, Warner has the talent to be considered one of Australia’s best cricketers.  He just needs time to develop.

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