Warner on track to dom­i­nate sum­mer

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - SCOTT BAI­LEY (AAP)

DAVID Warner is on track for the great­est Aus­tralian sum­mer by an opener, with his average of 388 across all for­mats well above any­thing achieved be­fore.

Warner’s de­mo­li­tion job on Pak­istan in Ade­laide took his in­ter­na­tional run-scor­ing tally for the sum­mer of cricket to 776, af­ter also blitz­ing the sea­son-open­ing Twenty20 se­ries.

Matthew Hay­den’s 1377 runs in 2003-04 is the most pro­lific by an opener in Aus­tralia, aided by what was then a world record score of 380 against Zim­babwe.

Warner still has up to nine in­nings to chase that tally down, with three Tests against New Zealand and then a three-match one-day se­ries in March.

For­mer Eng­land cap­tain Alastair Cook’s record average of 127.66 from his dom­i­nant 2010-11 tour is also well in sight for Warner.

The Aussie left-han­der could score ducks in his next four in­nings and still sit above that mark.

It’s all a far cry from the predica­ment Warner found him­self in two months ago, des­per­ately out of runs af­ter av­er­ag­ing just 9.5 in the Ashes. “I’ve had to re­group since com­ing back from Eng­land,” Warner said ear­lier this week.

“I have had to change the way I play. I hit prob­a­bly 3500 or 4000 balls lead­ing into Bris­bane.

“And then (in Ade­laide) I bat­ted two-and-half hour ses­sions lead­ing up as well. “It’s not by chance I tight­ened that (defence) up. I worked re­ally hard on that in the nets. I never doubted my­self at all. I am a very con­fi­dent per­son.”

Warner’s Ade­laide Oval record of 335no was his third cen­tury of the sum­mer, while he also has two scores of more than 50.

His form will be the last thing New Zealand want to see af­ter hav­ing grown tired of the opener’s runs in the past.

On their tour of Aus­tralia in 2015 Warner hit back-to-back cen­turies in Bris­bane fol­lowed by a dou­ble-ton in Perth and has an average of 93.37 against them at home.

How­ever, the Black Caps should present some­thing of a big­ger chal­lenge this time around, ranked No.2 in the world and with Trent Boult and Neil Wagner big threats with the ball.

Mean­while, Steve Smith holds the record for the most runs in any po­si­tion for an Aus­tralian sum­mer, with his tally of 1647 for 2014-15 seem­ingly un­reach­able.

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