Warner on track for best opener's summer

Scott Bailey
Australia's David Warner has bounced back to form on home soil after a lean Ashes campaign

David Warner is on track for the greatest Australian summer by an opener, with his average of 388 across all formats well above anything achieved before.

Warner's demolition job on Pakistan in Adelaide took his international run-scoring tally for the summer of cricket to 776, after also blitzing the season-opening Twenty20 series.

Matthew Hayden's 1377 runs in 2003-04 is the most prolific by an opener in Australia, aided by what was then a world record score of 380 against Zimbabwe.

Warner still has up to nine innings to chase that tally down, with three Tests against New Zealand and then a three-match one-day series in March.

Former England captain Alastair Cook's record average of 127.66 from his dominant 2010-11 tour is also well in sight for Warner.

The Aussie left-hander could score ducks in his next four innings and still sit above that mark.

It's all a far cry from the predicament Warner found himself in two months ago, desperately out of runs after averaging just 9.5 in the Ashes.

"I've had to regroup since coming back from England," Warner said earlier this week.

"I have had to change the way I play. I hit probably 3500 or 4000 balls leading into Brisbane.

"And then (in Adelaide) I batted two-and-half hour sessions leading up as well.

"It's not by chance I tightened that (defence) up. I worked really hard on that in the nets.

"I never doubted myself at all. I am a very confident person."

Warner's Adelaide Oval record of 335no was his third century of the summer, while he also has two scores of more than 50.

His form will be the last thing New Zealand want to see after having grown tired of the opener's runs in the past.

On their tour of Australia in 2015 Warner hit back-to-back centuries in Brisbane followed by a double-ton in Perth and has an average of 93.37 against them at home.

However, the Black Caps should present something of a bigger challenge this time around, ranked No.2 in the world and with Trent Boult and Neil Wagner big threats with the ball.

Meanwhile, Steve Smith holds the record for the most runs in any position for an Australian summer, with his tally of 1647 for 2014-15 seemingly unreachable.

BEST AUSTRALIAN SUMMERS BY OPENERS

* Matthew Hayden (AUS, 2003-04): 1377 runs at 76.50

* David Warner (AUS, 2016-17): 1247 at 69.27

* David Warner (AUS, 2015-16): 1055 at 81.15

* Desmond Haynes (WI, 1988-89): 1050 at 55.26

* Chris Broad (ENG, 1986-87): 1012 at 53.26

* David Warner (AUS, 2019-20): 776 at 335

* Alastair Cook (ENG, 2010-11) 766 at 127.66

(Figures based across all formats)