Marsh Sheffield Shield 2019-20
Warner responds to Ashes slump with Shield ton
In his first innings since the Ashes, David Warner has posted a century in a low-scoring Marsh Sheffield Shield clash in Brisbane
11 October 2019, 01:46 PM AEST
David Warner firmed to retain his spot at the top of Australia's Test batting order as the opener conquered bowler-friendly conditions to reach his first red-ball century in nearly two years.
The Gabba pitch rolled out for Queensland's Marsh Sheffield Shield-opening match against NSW proved as challenging as some of the ones produced for the recent Ashes campaign, with run-machine Steve Smith one of 13 wickets to fall on the game's first day.
But Warner abstained from joining Thursday's procession to be unbeaten on 27 overnight, before pushing on to reach first-class century No.29 and his first one in 19 innings since the Boxing Day Test in 2017.
Initially subdued in his celebration, Warner, as if he'd forgotten it has become his trademark, then did his customary leap after acknowledging teammates and the small Brisbane crowd.
He reached 125 before Test teammate Marnus Labuschagne trapped him lbw.
Selection chief Trevor Hohns had refused to guarantee Warner's position last week ahead of next month's first Domain Test against Pakistan, but his 221-ball knock was a reminder of his prowess on home turf.
It couldn't hurt that it also came at the same venue where Australia will take on Pakistan from November 21 to kick off the Test summer.
In English conditions that proved largely confounding to opening batsmen from both sides, Warner endured a torrid return to Test cricket on this year's Ashes tour.
He was dismissed seven times by Stuart Broad, who exposed an indecisiveness in the left-hander from around the wicket to leave him averaging under 10 for the series.
Warner says the Englishman was simply too good for him in a series where batsmen from both sides struggled, and he's already moved on from that campaign.
"The ball was going in and away so on those kind of wickets, it’s quite challenging," he said.
"I know me and Harry (opening partner Marcus Harris) spoke about it quite a lot; what can you do? If it’s in the first 10 balls when you’re out there and you get a good one like that, you can’t do anything.
"I spoke to Broady about the one that bowled me at Lord’s; he said to me it was probably one of the best balls he’s ever bowled. Up the slope, nipping back in, it’s very difficult to do that repeatedly. Credit to him.
"I look back at that now and just forget about it."
While the likes of Michael Neser and Billy Stanlake are, respectfully, not in the same class as Broad and his sidekick Jofra Archer, Warner's ton against the Bulls' all-pace attack was nonetheless an impressive one.
Driving cautiously down the ground and lashing onto width with typical flair, Warner looked to have rediscovered his groove in his 179-ball hundred as he made the bulk of the Blues’ runs.
Perhaps more importantly than the shots he did play were the ones he didn't, leaving the ball soundly when Queensland's right-arm quicks looked to replicate Broad's success in coming around the wicket to him.
As new Melbourne Stars recruit Dale Steyn said this week of his former rival, "world-class players don't become rubbish overnight".
Although his red-ball returns may have been lacking since his comeback from his 12-month ban, Warner earlier this year had a sensational World Cup campaign to help Australia reach the semi-finals, blazing 647 runs at 71.88 in 10 games.