His uncharacteristically slow innings against India may have played a part in Australia's defeat against India, but the hundred David Warned recorded against Pakistan has convinced two-time World Cup-winning captain Ricky Ponting, currently working with the Australian team as an assistant coach, that the left-handed opener is getting back to his best form.
In an interview given to cricket.com.au, Punter expressed his confidence about Warner's form for upcoming matches. "We'd all seen that he (Warner) probably hadn't been batting as fluently as we're used to seeing. Having spoken to him after the last game at The Oval. It was more of a mental thing than anything, he was just holding back a little bit and not playing with the freedom we're used to seeing him play with.
"He had a pretty relaxed day yesterday (Monday), he didn't do any batting, he wanted to come into the game with a fresh mind. You could see by the way he moved into his shots and picking up the length early, he hit a lot of pull shots early in his innings, which is always a good sign for him. He'd taken the handbrake off which has allowed himself to play with a bit more freedom. If he keeps playing like that for the rest of the tournament, he's probably going to be the leading run scorer," the former Aussie skipper ominously declared.
Encouraged by the improved showing of Warner, Ponting replied in the affirmative when asked if other teams should fear Warner. "I think they should (be fearful of Warner). You know with David Warner at his best, if you miss your line and length then he's going to make you pay. Every game you go into is a different set of challenges for every player. Davey capitalised today on Pakistan today not executing as well as they could have. We know against Sri Lanka, they'll be well-planned ... But Warner at his best is difficult to bowl to and I think he was back to somewhere near his best today," the three-time World Cup winning cricketer added.
In the game against India, Warner played a diffident knock of 56 off 84 balls that played a key role in his team's failure to chase the target of 353 runs. But against Pakistan, the left-hander seemed a lot more proactive and, while still scoring at less than run-a-ball, seemed much more fluent in his stroke-play.
Ponting explained what may have been going wrong with the dashing opener at the start of the tournament: "I think he was just trying a bit too hard, making a statement coming back in a World Cup. Wanting to do everything right and impress everybody rather than just going out and hitting the ball and scoring runs like we've seen him do for 10 years. I think in the back of his own mind to a certain degree, I think he was a little bit more worried about getting out than scoring runs. We said to him after the last game, 'mate, just go out and see the ball, hit the ball.' He got off to a good start and continued on for 30 or 40 overs."