David Warner shredded over latest Stuart Broad failure: 'He's numb'

For the 17th time in his Test career, David Warner conceded his wicket to Stuart Broad.

David Warner and Stuart Broad.
David Warner's smile after being dismissed by Stuart Broad for a 17th time in his Test career raised alarm bells for Aussie legend Ian Healy. Pictures: Getty Images

All David Warner could do was smile after yet again being dismissed by Stuart Broad in the Ashes - the 17th time the England quick has ended the opener's stay at the crease. Warner's response however, left Australia cricket great Ian Healy fuming, and questioning whether his form warrants selection for the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

Australia were in desperate need of runs after forfeiting a strong position to a combination of Ben Stokes and the England tail, holding a lead of just 26 runs. However, going back in to bat on day two, time was on Australia's side.

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Only cheap wickets could place that still strong position at risk - but that was exactly what England managed to do. While Warner (1) wasn't the only culprit, his reaction to yet another dismissal at the hands of Broad raised alarm bells for Healy.

Only Glenn McGrath's stranglehold over Michael Atherton (19 dismissals) stands above Broad's 17 wickets against Broad - making the possibility of breaking an unwanted record a distinct possibility for the remainder of the series. Warner edged a catch to Zak Crawley at first slip, a particularly inopportune wicket for the visitors.

"It worries me," Healy said said of Warner's reaction. "He's smiling a little too much. I'm hopeful it's not a smile and it just looks like a smile.

"He's numb, he's not really into the innings, his clarity in the mind wasn't there to get 300. Australia have got to get 300 right now. He's been the real warrior that leads us into those innings in the past, but he's just been nowhere in this Test when we need to really add 300 at least to our lead of 29."

So far in the Ashes series, Warner has score 141 runs at an average of 23.50 across six innings so far, numbers Healy wasn't convinced by. He suggested Warner's mooted SCG farewell at the New Year's Test could be at risk as a result.

" This whole match hasn't produced enough for my liking at all," Healy said. "Not only is Broad unsettling him, but worldwide, bowlers over the last two years have not had much trouble with him.

"His average is about 28 over the last couple of years in cricket and those numbers for a national team are probably not good enough. So I worry that we can pick him again, even in the next Test in this series."

Australia went to stumps on day two at Headingley on 4-116 in their second innings and with a lead of 142, but Warner's record against Broad makes for uglier reading. In total, Warner has faced seven balls off Broad in this Test, hit four runs and was out twice.

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Warner has made several starts over the first three Tests of this tour, including 66 at Lord's last week to give him some security in selection. But he is yet to make the kind of big score that would lock him in long-term.

Australia could face a selection squeeze in the next Test if Cam Green is available after recovering from a hamstring injury. Before Mitch Marsh's century on day one at Headingley, Green would have automatically come back into the side - now it is not such a simple calculation.

Faced with a similar situation last January when Khawaja made twin tons on his Test return, selectors made opener Marcus Harris the sacrificial lamb when Travis Head returned from COVID in the next match. If selectors did try to fit allrounders Marsh and Green into the same side, the only real option would be to leave out Warner and move Head or Marsh into the opening role.

David Warner walks off the field after being dismissed in the third Ashes Test.
David Warner has averaged 23 runs so far this Ashes series, putting his hopes of an SCG farewell later this year in jeopardy. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

There is no indication yet from selectors that they will make that move, but Warner has always known only runs can secure him the home Test farewell he has planned. However head coach Andrew McDonald has played down concerns over the veteran opener's form.

"When you have an opening bowler bowling to an opening batsman, they are more likely to get them out with a new ball at times," McDonald said.

"The three fifty-plus run partnerships that Usman (Khawaja) and David have put on in the series have been telling and had great impact.

"So not here to discuss David Warner at this stage."

With AAP

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