Warner crowned ODI Player of the Year

Australia's vice-captain honoured for a sensational 12 months in Australian Gold

Martin Smith

12 February 2018, 10:19 PM AEST

David Warner has been crowned Australia's best one-day international player for the second successive year, the award coming just weeks after the least productive ODI series of his decorated career.

Warner was honoured having averaged 57 with the bat in the 12-month voting period, which ran from January 8 last year and did not include the recent Gillette ODI Series against England.

A campaign in which Warner scored just 73 runs in five innings, the first time he's averaged less than 15 in an ODI series of three or more matches, as Australia's disappointing recent record in one-day cricket continued.

But Warner's award at Allan Border Medal night in Melbourne is a reminder that despite his recent run drought, he remains one of Australia's most important players ahead of their World Cup defence in the UK next year.

The left-hander accrued 24 votes to win the award by a margin of six from skipper Steve Smith and allrounder Marcus Stoinis.

The latter having accumulated his votes despite playing just seven of the 15 matches Australia played in the 12-month period, underlining him as a good news story in a horror year that saw the Aussies win just five times in total and only once overseas.

Warner was Australia's leading run-scorer in the voting period by some margin, his tally of 691 coming from two games less than that of Travis Head, the second-highest with 518 at 47.

He also scored three of the eight centuries by Australians in that time, raising his bat in Sydney and Adelaide - the latter a career-best score of 179 - against Pakistan in January last year before doing so again in Bengaluru in September to help secure the only ODI win of their tour of India.

And the opener was one of only three Australian batsmen to finish the voting period with a strike rate of more than 100, the other two being Stoinis (100.29) and Glenn Maxwell (113.33), both of whom weren't considered part of Australia's best ODI XI at times during the voting period.

Warner breaks 27-year-old Australian record

The rotation of Australia's fast-bowling attack over the 12 months was underlined by the fact that the leading vote-getter amongst the quicks, injury-plagued right-armer Nathan Coulter-Nile (13 votes), played just five matches.

And that only one fast-bowler, right-armer Pat Cummins, played more than nine of Australia's 15 games in the voting period.

But with selectors, coach and captain all recently expressing a need to narrow their focus with the start of the World Cup less than 18 months away, the careful management of Australia's prized quicks - which has involved sitting out one-day matches – will be less likely in ODI campaigns between now and their Cup defence.

The next such ODI series will come against tournament hosts England in June, who will present a stern test of the Australians early in the UK summer for a five-match series that will be played in the same conditions and at the same time of year as the World Cup a year later.

Providing the Australians, and Warner, a golden chance to end their current slump and return to the form that saw them crowned champions at the MCG almost three years ago.

ODI Player of the Year

David Warner - 24 votes

Steve Smith - 18

Marcus Stoinis - 18

Travis Head - 17

Aaron Finch - 14