Domain Test Series v Pakistan
Half-marathon man Warner sprints into history
Australia opener's dedication to fitness pays off with GPS tracking revealing the incredible effort he put in during mammoth Adelaide innings
Martin Smith at the Adelaide Oval
1 December 2019, 01:35 PM AEST
David Warner has proven himself to be cricket's half-marathon man over the opening two days of the Domain Adelaide Test, covering almost 21 kilometres during his record-breaking innings of 335 not out.
Having been pushed by his ironwoman wife Candice to improve his fitness since they first met in 2013, Australia's opener produced a display of endurance that Mrs Warner herself would have been proud of, batting for more than nine hours and 127 overs to etch his name in the history books.
The fitness levels of Australia's modern cricketers are tracked to the nth degree and numbers from Cricket Australia's High Performance team revealed that Warner covered a total of 20.921 kilometres with bat in hand on Friday and Saturday, the equivalent of a half-marathon.
The action of running the short 22-yard distance between wickets means batsmen are never able to register large distances at a high speed, unlike fast bowlers, and Warner's numbers show that almost 80 per cent of the 21 kilometres he covered were at jogging pace.
But while the Aussie quicks generally run longer distances at a higher pace, batsmen like Warner outstrip their fast-bowling teammates when it comes to short bursts of intense speed between the wickets.
Warner's data shows that he put himself and his batting partners through 146 efforts that were classified as 'high-intensity accelerations', where he sprinted at full speed between the wickets.
It's an element of Warner's game that has been the focus of his sessions in recent years with his "fantastic" sprint coach Roger Fabri, who coaches athletes across a wide range of sports.
And Warner has implemented Fabri's teachings - as well as those of the team's fitness staff - into his batting, even if it does sometimes draw the mirth of his teammates.
"It's about my first five steps when I'm batting and when I'm fielding and making sure you've got the right technique," he said.
"Everyone can build speed if you try and use your arms. That's one of the things I try to emphasise when I'm out there.
"The boys always give me a little bit of crap about it. But if you've got a good technique, why wouldn't you use it when you're out there?"
While Fabri has played a role in Warner's physical improvements, it's been wife Candice who has been the biggest influence on the opener's fitness.
On one occasion early in the pair's relationship, the ironwoman is said to have been stunned at both the low intensity and shortness of one of her partner's training sessions, which consisted of just an hour or so of hitting throwdowns in the nets.
Today, Warner is one of the hardest-working Australian players away from games and training, which was no doubt pivotal in his impressive display of endurance against Pakistan's bowlers.
"I pride myself on my fitness," Warner said on Saturday. "If I'm away from the game and not in the nets, I'm either on the treadmill or running the coastal walk.
"My wife is always getting me out of the house and making sure I'm walking. I walk every day here before games. I just love being outdoors.
"We've got three young kids so we're always going to be up early, but we make sure we make time for fitness and I really enjoy that.
"There's a lot of hard work that has gone into it."
Marnus Labuschagne, who himself registered 92 'high-intensity accelerations' and covered 12.7 kilometres in his 361-run partnership with Warner, conceded he had trouble keeping up with his older teammate.
"I don't know how he does it," Labuschagne told cricket.com.au after play on day one. "(He's 33) and he's still got me covered between the wickets.
"He's superb, he's shown a great level of fitness to do that in back-to-back games. He's rapid."
And teammate Matthew Wade says Warner was pushing just as hard at the end of his innings as he was at the start.
"When I went out there, he was still running as hard as any man that I've ever seen," Wade, who walked to the middle when Warner had already been batting for 111 overs, told cricket.com.au on Saturday night.
"I was certainly blowing, don't worry about that."
Domain Test Series v Pakistan
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner
Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Snr, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah.
First Test: Australia won by an innings and five runs.