Warner: ‘World Cups are what I get up for’

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After a rather sluggish start to the competition, David Warner has hit the levels he was hoping for, scoring back-to-back centuries, which pushed him past one ODI legend – Ricky Ponting – and level with another – Sachin Tendulkar – for World Cup hundreds. Australia rode on his 104 and Glenn Maxwell’s 44-ball 106 to a 309-run victory over Netherlands and firmed up a place in the top four as the race to the semi-final continues.

“For me it’s about going over there and doing my best,” Warner told Star Sports. “It so happens to be in live-play and in tournament-play and that’s what I get up for. We live for those World Cups. They’re every four years and you’ve got to really, really shine on this stage and try and emulate what I do in those bilateral series out here and, yeah, to be in the same category and class with those guys is special.

“They’re greats of the game. For us, we grew up watching those guys. In this moment, we’re just staying present. In probably 20 years’ time or 30 years’ time, I might sit down and enjoy that.”

Warner was one of the few Australian players who made an impression in the opening game against India, scoring 41 runs, but his wicket triggered a collapse. He followed that innings up with scores of 13 against South Africa and 11 against Sri Lanka, but hit his stride against Pakistan with 163 and brought up his sixth World Cup century today.

Speaking with his former team-mate Shane Watson, with whom he works at Delhi Capitals during the IPL, Warner said the uptick in his form came from “going back to basics”.

“We spoke about it during the IPL, Watto – it’s about timing and rhythm and on these wickets you have to be able to allow yourself time to do that,” Warner said. “I think the first game against India in Chennai, always going to be challenging, always is a challenging surface. You need to get yourself in.

“And I didn’t feel like I was in great rhythm, and then on to Lucknow [against South Africa] which was a great wicket but the timing wasn’t there and the ball was sort of swinging, so for me it was about going back to basics and being nice and still. Still have my prelim[inary trigger movements] but I can stay still if I wanted to and just switching gears. I know I’ve got the ability to play on these wickets and in these conditions. It’s just about backing yourself and having control and batting those 50 overs.”

Almost all of Warner’s best innings are characterised by his rapid running between the wickets and this one was no different, including an occasion where he came down the entire length of the pitch only for his partner, Steven Smith, to send him back.

“You saw quite clearly today I ran a two for my mate and I didn’t get a run for it,” Warner said. “I’ll remember that for a long time. As you know, I’ve said it plenty of times. I pride myself on my fitness. It’s something I really, really think is part of my game.

“You see Virat Kohli does it a lot as well. We pride ourselves on that, trying to pinch the odd two, running as hard as you can for your team-mate. You’ve got to have that inside you. It’s an attitude thing and that’s one thing that I love doing.”

Australia have bounced back from two straight defeats with three straight wins, a fact that pleased their captain Pat Cummins.

“We’re starting to play to our potential and play in the style that we always talk about,” Cummins said. “The openers started really well. Smithy at No. 3. Really good powerplay. That’s how we want to play. Get ahead of the game.”

Australia had gone three matches without taking any powerplay wickets, but against Netherlands, they rectified that.

“That’s what we’re aiming for,” Cummins said. “I think we’ve bowled quite well in the powerplay without a lot of luck. Good to see the guys do the job and [Adam] Zamps another four-for as well.”

“We saw that come up at the start of our bowling innings [no powerplay wickets in three games]” Warner added. “And the ball was swinging and the boys hit those lengths and they were able to penetrate through to the keeper and that was something they were talking about in the bowlers meeting, try to hit the gloves hard and hit the wicket hard and they were able to do that tonight and get powerplay wickets and hopefully we can emulate that in the New Zealand game.”

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