Warner wins Allan Border Medal

The opening batsman won Australian cricket’s highest individual honour, in appreciation of his work during a period in which he scored 1990 runs across formats.

David Warner poses with the award at the 2016 Allan Border Medal ceremony at Crown Palladium in Melbourne.   -  Getty Images

As the Australia team arrived in Melbourne on Wednesday morning, David Warner was asked at the Tullamarine Airport what he expected from the evening’s Allan Border Medal awards ceremony. “I hope chicken is on the menu,” he said. “But after that, I think Steve Smith’s probably got in the bag, well and truly. He’s been a fantastic player over the last 18 to 24 months.”

Hours later, Warner would go on to win the Allan Border Medal, Australian cricket’s highest individual honour, in appreciation of his work during a period in which he scored 1990 runs across formats.

On Tuesday, however, Warner failed along with the rest of Australia’s batsmen as India inflicted a 37-run defeat in the first T20 international. His side had to bat better against spin, the left-hander admitted. “Losing 4 for 50 (49) in eight overs to spin is not ideal,” he said. “During those middle overs, a lot of us get carried away trying to play too many big shots and not actually trying to take advantage of the big fields in Australia. Something we have to work on is trying to pinch those twos and hitting the ball down the ground. You can go for the odd big shot — generally that comes in the first two balls of the over — and then you’ve got to try and see if you can get six-seven an over after that. In India, you can actually get away with trying to hit boundaries because it’s a bit smaller.”

Warner denied that Steve Smith’s dismissal in Adelaide had anything to do with his being mic-ed up by the broadcaster. Smith was on air talking to commentators shortly before his exit, leading to suggestions that he had been disturbed. “No, not at all,” Warner said. “We’ve been doing that for the past couple of years. Obviously it’s not in the interest of Channel 9 (the Australian broadcaster) to disturb us while we are out there and for us to be dismissed. It’s upon us to be responsible and professional to actually understand what happens when you’re out there. It’s about entertainment. We’ve seen it during the Big Bash and we’ve done it plenty of times for Channel 9. I’ve been doing it all the time and I feel no added pressure. It’s great that I can give people at home communication of what we’re trying to achieve while we’re out there in different situations.”

Warner believed that experience in the team was vital to success at the World T20. “We’re playing in Bangalore and Dharamsala, which are very much like Australia, with nice wickets to bat on. Obviously it’s going to be a different story when we go to Kolkata, it’s going to turn, low and slow. We have to adapt there. The big word is experience, it plays a massive role in this format. That's why guys like Yuvraj and Raina are back. These guys have a lot of experience and it’s great for India. We’ve got guys like Shane Watson coming back as well. Steve Smith and I have also played there on numerous occasions.”