Warner’s horrible year up to November
Injury ruled Warner out from the First and Second Tests against India in December 2020. When he was fit to play, he returned to play in the 3rd Test in early January in Sydney, which ended in a draw.
He scored just 5 and 13 in his two knocks.
In the Fourth and final Test of the Series, he did manage an important 48 in the second innings, after being out for just 1 in the first innings.
Australia lost both the Test and consequently, the Series. Not only are India wins in Australia very rare, but India were missing more than half their team in that final Test as injuries kicked in.
Those were the only two Tests he was to play in all year with Australia not taking part in any more.
They were also the only matches he was to play for Australia in the whole of 2021.
When the IPL came along in April, he was hoping to get plenty of runs under his belt and to guide the Sunrisers Hyderabad to a Playoff spot, at the very least.
Neither happened. The usually prolific opener scored two fifties in eight matches at the desperately slow strike rate of 107.
Worse still, his team kept on losing.
He was stripped of the captaincy, given to Kane Williamson, and dropped.
He then missed out on Australia selection for the tours to the West Indies and Bangladesh and returned for the second leg of the IPL in the UAE.
He was given one last chance when fellow overseas opener Jonny Bairstow opted out of the second half of the IPL.
After two more failures, Warner was dropped for good
When things got better
Many in Australia felt Warner shouldn’t have been playing in the T20 World Cup at all after such poor form leading up to it.
But skipper Aaron Finch and coach Justin Langer stood their ground and he played.
He scored 14 against South Africa, 65 against Sri Lanka. But just 1 against England and 18 when they played Bangladesh.
Then it all clicked: 89 not out against West Indies, 49 in the semi-final against Pakistan and 53 against New Zealand in the final.
As the second highest run scorer in the competition on the winning side, he walked away with the Player of the Tournament award.
Why the Ashes need Warner
First up, T20 and Test cricket are of course, like night and day. But it’s also impossible to ignore that if you’re in good form and high on confidence in one format, you’re more likely to do well in the other.
Above all, Australia need Warner. There’s been a strange lack of any quality Australian opening batsmen (besides Warner) for a good five or six years now.
Marcus Harris will open alongside him and secretly, Australia will be worried about Harris. And as it happens, Warner’s record in The Ashes isn’t as good as his overall Test record, as you can see above. His nemesis Stuart Broad has a lot to do with that.
But it’s still good enough and the sight of the feisty, determined, busy, bulldog-like Warner isn’t something England will want to see. And Warner is also something of a pantomime villain, the type you ‘love to hate’. His presence will make The Ashes rivalry that much better.
Warner is 4.5 third-favourite with Betway to be Australia’s top series run scorer, behind Steve Smith (2.37) and Marnus Labuschagne (3.0).