David Warner missed the chance to end his Test career on his own terms and two Australian greats have suggested he may not make it to the Ashes without absolute faith from selectors.
Having registered scores of 1, 10 and 15 in India before being sent home to recover from a fractured elbow, doubts are being cast on Warner’s place in the team ahead of this year’s showdown in England.
Warner struggled horribly in the 2019 series in England, averaging just 9.5 runs across the five Tests with three ducks as Stuart Broad dismissed him seven times.
Outside of the 200 he made in the Boxing Day Test against South Africa at the MCG last summer, Warner has passed 50 just twice in his past 20 Test innings and, at 36, the end is looming.
On arrival home in Sydney last week, Warner said he had no intention of retiring.
Former Test captain Ricky Ponting said Warner missed the “obvious” chance for the perfect retirement in the Sydney Test, his 101st, and now his career could end in ugly fashion.
Ponting said Warner might make it to the World Test Championship final before the Ashes, but that might be it.
“I think I’ve heard him talk before about their cycle. This current cycle will finish after the World Test Championship, which is obviously the week before the first Ashes Test and I would think all going well that they want to get David through until the end of that Test match at least,” Ponting, who will coach Warner at the Delhi Capitals in the IPL, told RSN.
“It’s up to him though. The only currency you have as a batsman is runs and if you’re not scoring any you leave yourself open.
“It’s happened to all of us, it happened to me. When you get to a certain age and it looks like your form is dropping off slightly, then the knives are sharpened and it doesn’t take long.
“For him to finish the way he deserves to finish, the obvious thing for me was maybe to pull the pin after Sydney. He got 200 in Melbourne, played his 100th Test, played his 101 Test in Sydney, his home ground and maybe finish there.
“The last thing he deserved is to be away on a tour and get in to the middle of a series and get dropped and his career is over. That would be an awful way for him to finish.
“He’s a driven little man, a pretty stubborn little bugger, so we’ll see how he goes.”
Former national selector Mark Waugh had a similar view to Ponting, not sure if Warner would makes it to the Ashes.
“I don’t think the selectors will want to finish David‘s career like it is at the moment with an injury and not play anymore,” he told RSN.
“I think he’s got enough credits in the bank to be in the side I think for the Test World Championship, which I think Australia will make and then the Ashes after that.
“I think that’ll be probably the T-junction when they have to decide which way to go.”
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