David Warner might be 35 but the Australian left-handed opener is eager to feature in the next Ashes series in England in 2023. Having taken a 3-0 lead inside 12 days, Australia have already won the ongoing Ashes, with Warner himself being in pretty solid touch. The dashing batter has smashed 240 runs in four innings at a stunning average of 60 and is currently the third-highest run-getter in the series.
Warner has always been invincible in Australia but doesn’t have a great record in England, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India. The last time Australia toured England, Warner could only manage 95 runs at an average of 9.50. Overall, he averages just 26 in England. Australia have not defeated England in England since 2001, but before we talk about the next Ashes series, Australia are also scheduled to travel to Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India, where Warner is yet to prove his mettle.
"We still haven't beaten India in India. That would be nice to do. And obviously, England away, we had a drawn series (in 2019), but hopefully, if I managed to get that chance and opportunity, I might think about going back," said Warner.
"Those tours will really show where we are as a team and our character. When you go to the subcontinent, you potentially could play two spinners. And then the selectors look at the batting line-ups with who they feel is probably going to be better on the subcontinent wickets and who's not. There are going to be some brave decisions being made. But we're looking forward to that."
Warner wants to take a leaf out of James Anderson’s book and prove that players can retain their competitive edge even after getting into their late 30s. "I think James Anderson sets the benchmark for older guys these days. We look up to him as we're getting on in our days. But for me, it's about performing to the best of my ability and putting runs on the board," said Warner, who will be approaching 37 when Australia begins their Ashes defence in England.
"In the first two Tests, I actually look like a proper batsman, it's almost like I've played my career the other way and had to knuckle down and respect the bowling and the line and lengths that they were bowling and obviously, the hundred eluded me. I feel in good touch. As I said, I was out of runs not out of form, so hopefully, I can put some more numbers on the board leading into this new year."
Talking about his counter-punching approach in red-ball cricket, Warner said: "For me, it’s about trying to apply that pressure back. If I sit back and try to defend on those types of wickets, I’m probably going to nick off. I felt this (MCG pitch) was one of those types of wickets where you couldn’t leave too much on length, because there was that variation (in bounce) whereas in Brisbane and Adelaide, you could leave on that line and length.
"It’s about how can I score from that line and length, and about opening up the offside. With Woody (Mark Wood), anything short of a length I can cut and pull and create those opportunities for myself to try and go after them, and that’s how I tend to go about it. The MCG and SCG are quite similar in that sense. The SCG doesn’t go up and down, it's quite traditional and if anything, it gets lower and slower as the game goes on."
Warner was also pleased to see his opening partner Marcus Harris get some runs in the third Test. The 29-year-old started the series with scores of 3, 9*, 3 and 23 but managed to get 76 at the MCG. "Awesome to see Harry score some runs. He is a tough tenacious fella. We gel well together when we're out there.
"Obviously, a minor hiccup last game but that's what happens in cricket can happen. His courage to keep fighting and working ways out to score runs when bowlers are bowling these good lines and lengths, he fought it out well. I'm really, really pleased for him. When he's looking to score and I'm looking to score, I think our defence takes care of itself and we'll be in and amongst the runs in the next two Tests."
Warner also advised a sorry-looking England side to prepare on synthetic wickets to be able to adjust to the extra bounce in the pitches Down Under. "From a batting point of view, the bounce is a big one. Growing up here in Australia and playing on these wickets is different for how we would approach it compared to England.
"I would probably suggest going on the synthos (synthetic wickets) and practising against the (extra) bounce, doing that in England. You've always got to find ways to prepare and the only way you can prepare for bounce is on synthos in England."