Gillette ODI Series v New Zealand
Top four must do more in NZ ODIs, says Warner
Lack of contributions from top order pinpointed as reason behind five-game 50-over losing streak, which Australia are aiming to snap this Friday
Sam Ferris in Sydney
11 March 2020, 11:26 AM AEST
Australia's dire run in one-day cricket is down to a dearth of runs from their top four, according to opener David Warner.
The Aussies take on New Zealand on Friday at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the first of three Gillette one-day internationals, with the hosts entering the series on a five-match 50-over losing streak.
🚨 THIS IS NOT A DRILL 🚨 Australia's gold helmets are back for the first time since the summer of 2000-01.#AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/h5Vl7S7SZ2— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) March 10, 2020
Australia have not had multiple batsmen pass 50 in any match during the run of defeats, which begun in the second ODI against India in January and continued during their recent 3-0 series loss to South Africa.
Warner says that must change if his side is to reverse their fortunes in the one-day format.
"The only thing I can put it (Australia's losing streak) down to is the top four not scoring the bulk of the runs," Warner told reporters today in Sydney.
"You can't do it all the time but at least one of us (has to) go on and be there at the end.
"It is disappointing but at the end of the day we've got to keep trying to get better at that, try to find a balance with our batting through the middle as well."
In the five losses, Steve Smith's 131 in the third ODI against India and Marnus Labuschagne's 108 in the final match Potchefstroom have been the only hundreds scored, while Smith came within two runs of another ODI century in Rajkot, the first match of the one-day drought.
Labuschagne, who was born in South Africa before moving to Australia when he was 10, has played just six ODIs since debuting in the subcontinent this year but was the poster boy for Australia's batting blueprint when he brought up his maiden one-day century in front of family and friends just last week.
"Marnus showed that application the other day in Potch," Warner said.
"Obviously, it was a big occasion for him going back home for the first time and playing in his home town.
"It was awesome to see him get that hundred but if you look back at the last 10 one-day games against South Africa, we've won one."
Matthew Wade, who was with Australia's ODI squad in South Africa but did not play, says the tourists were simply "outplayed" by the Proteas and echoed Warner’s diagnosis of the team’s current form.
"They (South Africa) had a lot of guys out and quite an inexperienced team and they did the basics a lot better than we did," Wade said.
"They had guys get hundreds and bat the whole way through. If you get someone to do that in one-day cricket than you win more games than not.
"We've got to strip it back and make sure we're doing the basics really, really well in this series.
"New Zealand are a very disciplined cricket team and we know they will do it well.
"We've got to make sure one of the top four really bats through and makes a big hundred and in Australia we back our power towards the end on pretty true wickets.
"It'll be nice to see if one of the top order can go through and bat the whole innings, that would be very helpful."
Gillette ODI Series v New Zealand
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (vc), Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.