Australia Will Struggle To Defend Title Without On Form Warner

By Dhanu Delphi on June 13, 2019

Australia has entered just about every World Cup in the last two decades as the favourites. This isn’t the case at the 2019 World Cup, even though the Australians are the defending champions. A struggling David Warner is one of the challenges currently facing the Aussies. Consequently, the sportsbooks have given Australia World Cup betting odds of 4.30, which puts them third in line to win the World cup.

England are the favourites with odds of 2.75, while India comes in second place with odds of 3.25. Although Australia will not be paying a lot of attention to their betting odds, it does serve as an indicator as to how the Australians are approaching and playing at the World Cup.

Australia Get Wakeup Call With Loss to India

Australia have so far played 3 matches and won two of them. They should have lost against the West Indies after their top order collapsed. In the end, though, they fought back and got one over the West Indies. Nevertheless, they lost their last game against India as they struggled with both bat and ball.

That loss was a wake-up call for the Australians as it exposed a number of weaknesses that other teams will look to exploit. The most obvious concern for Australia was the indifferent form of David Warner at the top of the order. The media  have well documented the former vice-captain’s troubles over the last 18 months. It appears that Warner is fighting a mental battle which is impacting his batting and Australia’s chances of winning.

What’s Troubling David Warner?

It’s not that Warner got out cheaply against the Indians. Warner went on to score a half century. However, it wasn’t a typical David Warner innings that we are used to. Chasing a mammoth total of 352, Warner played a very cautious brand of cricket and ended up scoring 56 of 88 balls with a strike rate of just 66. It was the slowest half century in David Warner’s ODI career. Moreover, it clearly showed that all was not well with Warner.

Former Sri Lankan captain K Sangakkara, who was on air when Warner was batting, pointed out that Warner looked troubled mentally. Sangakkara commented that it could be due to the fact that Warner was too worried about performing in the middle. Sangakkara also made an interesting point of how Warner was playing against the conditions and struggling, instead of using the conditions to his advantage.

David Warner is an experienced campaigner who has played over 100 ODI matches and 70 plus test matches. He is a key batsman for Australia at the top of the order. It’s therefore important for him to sort out his emotions and play the brand of cricket that he is known for.

Captain Finch Wants Warner To Change His Mindset

Captain Aaron Finch, who is Warner’s opening partner, knows first-hand what a destructive player Warner can be. When Warner played at the 2019 IPL, he looked like the old Warner and finished with the Orange Cap for being the top scorer in the IPL. That’s even though he did not play the full tournament.

Finch believes its more of a mindset thing with Warner. He subsequently expects him to be back to his devastating best in the next game against Pakistan, which takes place on June 12. In a statement, Finch said:

“I haven’t spoken to him a huge amount about his batting. I know he’s been working a bit with Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting to just make sure he’s in the right mind frame.”

David Warner is a hard hitting and free flowing batsman when he is at his best. Australia need him to take the weight of his shoulders and go back to being the David Warner of old. That will be necessary in order to ease the pressure on the rest of the middle order!