Australian veteran David Warner has taken aim at the “sickening” scrutiny he’s copped regarding his place in the Test side ahead of his final World Cup.
The 36-year-old’s red-ball form was a source of debate ahead of this year’s Ashes campaign, with pundits questioning whether he deserved a spot in Australia’s starting XI for the marquee series.
During the tour of England, Warner announced he would hang up the boots after the upcoming New Year’s Test against Pakistan at the SCG. The left-hander finished the Ashes series with 285 runs at 28.50, notching crucial fifties at Lord’s and The Oval.
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Speaking to Fox Cricket’s Mark Howard this week, Warner condemned the relentless speculation about impending Test retirement.
“I just can’t wait to finish and then they’ll have to find someone else’s name to use as clickbait,” Warner said.
“It’s incredible. To be honest – if I’m being brutally honest, it’s actually been sickening.
“And that’s why I always put it back to the team. It’s about the team. It’s not about me and what I’m doing.
“For me, it’s about going out there and trying to put my best foot forward and playing to the best of my ability to put the team in a good position.
“That’s why I gave an end date. Because that’s when I’m ending – that’s when I intend to end.
“It’s when I intend to go home and spend some time with the family and live life.”
Despite question marks about Warner’s place in the Test side, his white-ball form has never been in doubt.
Having recently been crowned Australia’s ODI player of the year, Warner enters the World Cup off the back of some blistering form in the 50-over format.
The New South Welshman blasted a century against the Proteas in South Africa before cracking fifties in all three matches of the recent bilateral ODI series against hosts India.
Over the last 12 months, Warner has scored 598 ODI runs at 49.83 with a rapid strike rate of 112.83. He’s only 94 runs away from becoming Australia’s second most prolific batter in World Cup history, behind the legendary Ricky Ponting.
Australia gets its World Cup campaign underway this weekend, facing India at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday, with the first ball scheduled for 7.30pm AEDT.
Warner questioned whether Rohit Sharma’s side, who have been declared tournament favourites, would handle the added pressure of being the host nation.
“You’re in your home ground and you’re expected to win and win the tournament. That’s just what happens when you play with home-ground advantage. I don’t envy them,” Warner continued.
“I know exactly how they feel and will be feeling.
“You beat India on home soil in India, that momentum shift for us would be huge.”
Originally published as David Warner hits out at ‘sickening’ speculation he’s copped