Roseau, Dominica: Australian David Warner, once considered a machine purpose-built for Twenty20 cricket, showed he is learning the more patient skills required for Test matches with a patient half-century on the opening day of the third Test against West Indies on Monday. The left-hander made 50 from 136 balls on a surface far removed from those in Australia where he relishes the ball coming on to the bat.
Warner has hit two Test centuries but those both owed something to his hard-hitting origins, particularly his 69-ball 100 against India at Perth. On Monday, against a consistently tight West Indian bowling attack, Warner rarely used his body strength and showed he has the focus needed to open the batting in the longest form of the game.
"It's something [West Indies captain] Darren Sammy reminded me of out there, it's not the way I play, but they're the kind of wickets where it's all about patience. I'm still learning that, learning the game," Warner said. "This is my ninth Test and my first tour out of Australia as well. In Australia it's coming on to the bat a lot easier, they're running away for four, especially in Perth..."
"We've just got to work on getting our ones and twos and the boundaries aren't going to come. I was hitting good shots to mid-off but they weren't going anywhere off the square because it seemed a little dusty surface where the ball doesn't kick on. Where in Australia, it skids off the square. They're the things I've got to keep in mind, particularly our running between the wickets," he said.
Australia ended the day on 212 for seven, with West Indies spinner Shane Shillingford claiming Warner's wicket and then taking the cream of the middle order. Warner's observant approach to Shillingford was the most noticeable contrast with his usual attacking instincts.
"At the bottom end where he bowled first, I didn't think he could get me out unless I played a high-risk shot. Then, when he came from the other end, there was a little bit of grab and a bit of bounce, which resulted in a couple of wickets there," Warner said. "I think he's bowling well, he's bowled well the last two Tests. We've just got to work out how to play him and how to score off him."