David Warner, who is known for his fierce start for Australia in limited-overs cricket, has left his fans and analysts surprised after he has been scoring at a pedestrian rate in the ongoing Cricket World Cup.
In a chase for 353 runs against India, the left hand batsmen scored 54 of 84 balls. At one point, he did not score a run for 14 consecutive deliveries.
He scored at 66.66 strike rate against India at the Oval. It is around 30 points below his career average of 95.47 in the 50-overs format.
In Australia’s first game in the World Cup against Afghanistan, which is the weakest bowling attack in the tournament, Warner scored an unbeaten 89 leading Australia to a seven wicket win. But, he took 114 balls to do so and only hit eight fours on in a field that has short straight and square boundaries.
Warner had started his World Cup campaign after being the highest scorer in the Indian Premier League with 692 runs. Australia captain Aaron Finch said Warner had not consciously decided to be more guarded in the 50 overs format.
No, it hasn't been a plan, a team plan or an individual plan for David," Aaron Finch told reporters of Warner's relatively slow scoring rate.
"I think they bowled really well early. They bowled nice and straight, back of the length, where the ball was just skidding quite low to start with. They just didn't give us any width to get away or any length to really work with, either over the top or get a drive away.
"Their bowling plans were pretty simple but really effective on a wicket like that."
Bharat Arun”, India's bowling coach, said they had developed a short-pitched bowling plan to Warner that would make him uncomfortable and not allow him to free his arms, something opening bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar followed strictly on Sunday.
Warner scored 22 from 44 balls in his opening 61-run stand with Finch.
Aaron Finch had praised India's spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who dried up the runs in the middle of the innings.
"Their spinners probably had a bigger impact than what ours did," Finch said.
"Well, they did have a bigger impact than what our spinners did, through the middle overs in particular where the ball was just starting to hold up."