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Tim Paine backs under-fire David Warner to retain opening spot in Tests

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

David Warner might have endured a horrid Ashes with the bat, but he still has “enough credits” to hold on to the opener’s role for the upcoming Pakistan Tests, according to captain Tim Paine.

“I think he’s got enough credits in the bank,” Paine told 7News, while responding to questions on Warner’s place for the home series starting in November. “Opening the batting in England can be really difficult, particularly if you’re a left-hander and Stuart Broad’s bowling at you.”

Warner’s dry run in the Ashes followed a prolific World Cup campaign, where he ended one short of chart-topper Rohit Sharma’s run tally, at 647 runs. He managed to eke out just 95 runs in 10 gigs during the Ashes, 61 of which came in the first innings of the Leeds Test itself.

His red-ball failings were highlighted further by his repeated dismissals to Stuart Broad – seven times during the Ashes – with the angle from around the wicket, into the left-hander, bothering him through the entire campaign.

“That was a difficult period for David, [but] the way he was around our group as a senior player was outstanding,” Paine continued. “It’s easy to do that when you’re going well but to have him still upbeat and still pushing others to get better when he was going through a rough patch himself was great to see.”


Warner’s imperious form during the World Cup fizzled as soon as he encountered the red ball

It was Warner’s first Test series upon his return from a one-year suspension; with the Pakistan Tests scheduled to be held in Australia, it provides Warner the opportunity to reclaim his Test form on familiar terrain. The fact that the Tests are preceded by a T20I series could help spruce up the confidence of Warner, who has been hitting peak form against the white ball, having also topped the run charts during the IPL this year.

With Australia now having a string of opening options in Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns and Marcus Harris, Warner’s position, though not immediately under threat, could come under the scanner if he misfires in November. Paine, however, backed the 32-year-old to come good in a format where he boasts over 6000 runs, and 21 centuries.

“I think he averages 48 or 49 in Test cricket, which is an amazing effort. We know how good a player he is,” Paine added.

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