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Individual milestones secondary to Team's cause: David Warner, Australian opener

Having scored a magical 335 not out and with Brian Lara saying he was getting ready to congratulate David Warner, the phone hasn’t stopped buzzing for the Australian dynamo. “It was the night after, not that night but the night after, that I literally slept off on my couch. I was so tired,” laughs Warner, as he talks about his achievement and other aspects about Cricket.

Dec 04, 2019, 11.44 PM IST
By Boria Majumdar

He is clearly the most sought-after cricketer in Australia at the moment. Having scored a magical 335 not out and with Brian Lara saying he was getting ready to congratulate David Warner, the phone hasn’t stopped buzzing for the Australian dynamo. “It was the night after, not that night but the night after, that I literally slept off on my couch. I was so tired,” laughs Warner. “Only then did it seep in how much the body had taken and how much I needed to get some rest,” he says as he gets ready to spend some much-needed time with his family. Speaking to ET Sport, Warner talks about the triple hundred, what it means to him, the Ashes failure and his plans for the future. Excerpts:

The record was surely within your sight. Your captain should have allowed you to get the record.

(Laughs) Look, there was a lot of bad weather around. And with the (World) Test Championship and the points up for grabs, you can’t take a chance. Individual milestones are always secondary to the team cause and I understand what the captain did and I’m fully with him on the decision. I am happy that I got to 335 for it is something that will forever stay with me.

You are a family man and Candice, your wife, has already quoted Mahatma Gandhi as one of your role models. How was the celebration like with family?
Yes, Candice has put the quote up on her Instagram and during my many trips to India, I have tried to learn more about Mahatma Gandhi and imbibe some of his beliefs for myself. There wasn’t a big celebration or anything. All we did was spend time together. My daughter, Ivy, always says to me I should score a hundred for that’s what she wants to see. I told her on this occasion I had scored three hundreds but she continues to say she just wants me to get a hundred! (Laughs). But yes, all of them are excited and also amused to see their father being congratulated by everyone around.

You had a poor Ashes series. Was there extra motivation to do well in this series at home?

There was no extra motivation but I was determined to get back to form and make it count. People had started to write me off, but in my mind I was sure I had it in me to score big runs for Australia. If you actually look at the Ashes, none of the four openers who played scored too many. The average for the opening partnership was 11. And we were all facing very good new-ball bowlers who were bowling very well. Yes, I shouldn’t have changed my guard during the Ashes. I did come under pressure and changed it, but in hindsight I should have gone with what I am used to. But that’s what sport does to you. If you aren’t successful doubts start to creep in and with the criticism all around, it becomes more difficult to keep focus. I fully understand the criticism because people expect me to do well and it is only fair they criticise when I am not playing to potential. All of this made me more determined to score big and make it count.

One thing that stood out was the way you kept running even after your 300. At no point did it seem that you were actually physically exhausted. That’s extraordinary physical fitness.
To be honest at no point did I feel tired when I was out there. I could keep running as my body wasn’t giving up on me. I am glad that happened for it wasn’t easy. As I said it was only the next evening at home that I literally collapsed on the couch and slept off. My body needed it and all the excitement made sure that it wasn’t the case on the night of the triple hundred.

Your team is looking seriously good, and, as Michael Vaughn has commented, India seem to be the only side at the moment that can give Australia a real run. The India-Australia series next year is getting set up quite nicely.
It will be a cracking series. India are a very good team at the moment and it will be a fantastic series in our home conditions. We missed the last series and will want to do well against their bowling attack, which is both versatile and full of quality bowlers.

What is this talk of retirement or giving up on one format?
There is absolutely no talk. One of the journalists asked me if retirement has crossed my mind and I said no. Absolutely not. All I said was with the amount of cricket there, one may have to think of adjusting the workload and may be I relook at playing T-20 internationals post the two World Cups in the next two years. But there is just no talk or thought of retirement at the moment.

People had written you off in 2013. You came back to have one of your best phases in world cricket. People were starting to write you off again and you seem to be doing the same again. What is it about you and this comeback story?
It is about self-belief and confidence in your ability. You are the best judge and you know best if you are good enough. If you have it in you to do it again for your country. At no point did I lose that self-belief. At no point did I ever feel that I can’t score big runs for Australia. I knew that if I continue to work hard at my game big scores were round the corner. With support from my teammates and from friends and family, I have been able to turn the corner. The most important thing here is self-belief and the zeal to be successful. You need to want it really badly and you need to be strong to be able to deal with failure. In my case that’s what I have been able to do and I hope I will continue to do well for my country in the coming series.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of

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