Having marvelled at David Warner’s athleticism during Australia’s triumphant World Cup in India, his former teammate Michael Hussey has no doubt the opener can continue to excel in short-form cricket for years to come.
The champion opener issued a stern rebuttal to a social media post after Sunday’s final in Ahmedabad stating he had finished a “glorious” ODI World Cup career with 1527 runs by responding; “Who said I’m finished?”
Warner averaged 48.6 when striking 535 runs for the tournament, a contribution which saw him finish as Australia’s second highest scorer and sixth overall behind India’s Virat Kohli.
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The 37-year-old has withdrawn from the five-match T20 series in India beginning on Friday to return home to prepare for a farewell summer of Test cricket against Pakistan and the West Indies.
But he said during the World Cup that he wants to continue on in white ball cricket and, in a separate social media post after the decider, noted he was looking forward to “see(ing) you in 2027”.
“Chuffed to walk away as winners and 6 times champions. Our whole team should be extremely proud. Thanks again everyone, see you in 2027,” he wrote.
The revolutionary batsman would be 41 when the next ODI World Cup is held in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, but Hussey said it would be unwise to rule Warner out.
“I wouldn’t write him off,” Hussey told foxsports.com.au.
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“He’s been a champion player in all forms of the game for such a long, long, long period of time and you should never write off champion players, and that’s exactly what he is.”
Warner was almost as busy firing retorts during the World Cup as he was cutting off runs in the outfield as Australia responded magnificently after two losses to start the tournament.
A former short-form captain of Australia, in the infancy of the World Cup Warner said umpires should have their statistics published on scoreboards to hold them accountable.
After their six wicket triumph over the previously unbeaten India gave Australia its sixth ODI World Cup, he said the team had been written off too early before its remarkable recovery.
Hussey noted the dual-Allan Border Medallist seemed to thrive at the crease the most when questioned and, with his tongue firmly in cheek, suggested critics should challenge his form more frequently.
“It’s almost like he wants people to write him off, just to prove them wrong. It seems like that is the sort of character he’s got inside him,” Hussey said.
“So if we want him to continue on, maybe we should say he is finished and we need to look at the next generation, and that will push him to go on.”
The next logical target for Warner after this summer in terms of national duties is the T20 World Cup hosted by the West Indies and United States in June and July next year.
Hussey, who was a member of the dominant 2007 World Cup winning Australian side, said Warner’s ability to continue at international level rested more on desire than any physical traits.
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“I don’t think it’ll be a body thing. I don’t think it’ll be a skill thing. It’ll just be a mental thing,” he said.
“As far as his skill … he’s going to have the skill to be able to continue on for as long as he likes. I think he changed his training, you know what, pretty much when he met Candice, his wife, and he has turned himself into a great athlete.
“I don’t think there is going to be an issue there (with his fitness). I just think it’s in his mind, when he feels as though he’s had enough, and everyone gets that stage.
“He might not admit it now, but there will be a day where he’ll wake up and go, ‘You know what? I don’t want to do this anymore’. And I think that that’ll be the time when he will give it away.
“Whether it’s next year, whether it’s in five years time, whether it’s somewhere in between, who knows? Only he can really answer that, but it’ll come down to him in his mind.”