David Warner has come under fire after recording his slowest ODI fifty for a second successive match at the Cricket World Cup, dooming Australia in their defeat to India on Sunday.
The defending champions dropped just their fourth World Cup game in 20 years, after India whacked the highest score against Australia in the tournament's history with 5-352 at The Oval.
Questions will be asked of Australia's approach in the chase, where the required run rate got above 11 with 15 overs left before they accelerated with eight wickets in hand.
Attempting to pull off the highest successful chase in one-day history, Australia lost wickets at the wrong times but were slow to get going.
Aaron Finch was run out for 36 off 35 balls just as he looked to get going early, while Warner hit 56 but lacked his old flow as he took up 84 balls.
Warner's half-century was his slowest yet in ODIs, off 77 balls, only three days after his previous slowest, off 74 against Afghanistan.
He faced 50 dot balls against India.
"It hasn't been a plan, a team plan or an individual plan for David," Finch said.
"I think they bowled really well early. 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."
The returning opener spoke after his first game about getting his feet moving again after a year of almost exclusively playing Twenty20 cricket during his ban.
Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara said Warner appears to have taken a mental hit in the process of moving from T20 to ODI cricket.
“What’s really surprised me is I saw Warner in the IPL playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad and his intent, his body language, his fluency was completely different. He was on the ball, he was attacking, he was reversing pressure on the bowlers,” Sangakkara said.
“But here coming into the World Cup, from the first warm-up game, he’s looked steady, he’s looked careful, there seems to be a little bit of a fear of failure creeping in, the fear of getting out. He hasn’t really freed himself.
“He just needs to free himself up. He needs to let go of the expectations he has for himself.
“He is really keen to do well but sometimes that restrains you, sometimes that is not a healthy place to be, that you want it so much, that you’re so desperate for a great performance that you actually make the wrong decisions.
“David Warner needs to keep things simple. He is a free-spirited, attacking batsman. He needs to keep watching the ball, react rather than think too much about his own performance and it will come good.”
Very bizarre innings from Warner, sometimes u can’t find rhythm in your batting but at least u try different things, there was a clear lack of effort & innovation in that innings.— Rehan Ulhaq (@Rehan_ulhaq) June 9, 2019
Brave? Warner was elbowy or rusty or ? 46 dot balls. Not much calculation about attacking the target....leaving it to Gmaxi for a miracle. Still, win toss, bat at the Oval usually wins. Lyon has to play too.— jim maxwell (@jimmaxcricket) June 9, 2019
50 of the 84 balls David Warner faced were dot balls - and this was his slowest ever ODI fifty— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) June 9, 2019
Oh c’mon straya at least pretend you are chasing this total. 11 dots in a row from Warner. Only ever going to chase this down with a flying start. Awful tactics #wcc2019— Tom Connell (@tomwconnell) June 9, 2019
David Warner's innings has had more dots than a teenager's face. He just faced 14 in a row ... the third-longest streak in his ODI career. Warner's feet still appear to be stuck in T20 mode. @NewsCorpCricket #CWC19— Sam Landsberger 🗯 (@SamLandsberger) June 9, 2019
There is something wrong going on with Warner. He is not confident enough while batting and fielding. Maybe playing for his place?— Israr Ahmed Hashmi (@IamIsrarHashmi) June 9, 2019
David Warner: 48 dot balls 😱 https://t.co/szTs6didkP— سنیئر تجزیہ نگار (@realFuseReviews) June 9, 2019
Australia lost by 36 runs and David Warner faced 46 dot balls.— Sajid (@Saji_Sajid01) June 9, 2019
Steve Smith jumped Usman Khawaja in the batting order but fell for 69 off 70 balls when he was out plumb lbw in the 40th over.
Marcus Stoinis was bowled for a duck two balls later and Glenn Maxwell, arguably left in the dressing room for too long, then fell in the deep for 28 off 14 sweeping Yuzvendra Chahal (2-62) next over.
Alex Carey also hit a quickfire 55 off 35 late, but Australia were all out for 316 on the last ball of the innings.