Warner dismisses rumor of Oval’s retirement, watches Ash win

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By Webdesk

David Warner has quashed rumors that he is withdrawing from Test cricket after the fifth and final Test at The Oval as he prepares to face England for the last time.
Speculation was sparked in Australia when Michael Vaughan told Fox cricket that he had heard “whispers” during the Old Trafford test that the last Ashes meeting would be Warner’s last, rather than him moving on to the Pakistan series and an early January farewell to Sydney that he had spelled out at the start of this tour.

“I haven’t seen anything… I don’t have an announcement,” Warner told The Oval. “For me it’s about working hard in the nets like I did today and if I get selected then go play and try to win an Ashes series.”

“I came here last time and it was a draw. Hopefully we can go away with a series win and then it will be a fitting Ashes campaign for us and a fitting tour here in England with the World Test Championship as well.”

In the same comments, Vaughan also brought up Steven Smith’s possible retirement, but that too was laughed at. “Obviously it’s a joke,” Warner said. “I won’t take that too seriously.” When asked, the 34-year-old Smith has spoken doggedly in recent months about when he could finish his international career.

Warner’s Test retirement plan is still a finish at his home of the SCG in early January, although the question remains whether the selectors could decide to start over at the start of the home summer.

After failing twice against Stuart Broad at Headingley – to reminisce about England’s last Ashes – he made a few starts at Old Trafford before falling to Chris Woakes on both occasions. Warner is frustrated at not changing to something more substantial, but believes he has played his part in helping Australia hold the Ashes 2-1 ahead of the final game, sharing three half-century stands with Usman Khawaja in the two wins.

“I probably left a few but in saying I played much better than last time,” he said. “I’m looking to score. I’ve had a few unfortunate sacks and then sacks where I’ve tried to nullify the swing or the seam and it’s hit the perimeter of the bat.

“So for me, I feel like I’m in a good space, contributed well, and as a batting unit it’s all about partnerships. And I think the partnerships we’ve had at key moments of this series so far have actually worked really well for us as a team.”

With one test to go in England, Warner’s average in the country (including the final against India) stands at 25.60 from 18 matches and he has never made a hundred. His overall average outdoors is 32.31 compared to 58.39 in Australia.

Warner came into this series promising a more attacking mindset than in 2019, when he felt a lot of his issues stemmed from defending against the moving ball. Although he only managed half a century this time, he is satisfied with his method.

“Look at the dismissal against Woakes in the first innings last Test. That’s right,” he said. “If it doesn’t seam, it hits the middle of the bat and that’s what happens in this game. I would have been disappointed if I went there and just tried to defend it. So that’s how I wanted to play. I feel like I’m playing pretty decently.”

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