A year ago, David Warner was at a crossroads. Suspended for two Ashes Tests for punching Joe Root, dropped from the one-day team in England, fined for a Twitter spat with two journalists – 2013 had been a shocker of a year for Warner. Most importantly, the Test runs just weren’t flowing. In seven Tests in India and England he had managed only 333 runs at 23.78.
Now he has become the second Australian in the post-Bradman era to score three centuries in consecutive Test innings, joining Adam Gilchrist, who achieved the feat in 2005. When Warner brought up his century on the third morning in Dubai with a drive through cover for four off Imran Khan, he celebrated with his typical running leap.
And well might he enjoy it. How could he not be loving life? In September, he became a father for the first time with the birth of daughter Ivy Mae, and now his last six innings read 115, 70, 66, 135, 145 and 133. His past 12 months have brought him 1199 Test runs at 74.93.
Not surprisingly, his resurgence has more or less coincided with the appointment of coach Darren Lehmann, who encourages his players to trust their natural game and take an aggressive approach. His strike rate for the past 12 months in Test cricket is 79.77; in the previous 12 months it had been 67.13, hardly slow, but an indication he is now more free-flowing.
Before the home Ashes last year, Warner said that he had struggled with thinking too far ahead, and had worked with sports psychologist Michael Lloyd on focusing on the now. He had to deal with his mental approach to things.